Ancient Greece, Hellenistic Period, ca. 3rd to 2nd century BCE. A gorgeous core-formed glass alabastron of a slender form. The narrow vessel exhibits a rounded base, a cylindrical body with tall walls and a tapered shoulder, a pair of protruding nubbin handles, and a discoid rim. The vessel is constructed with opaque, cobalt-blue glass which is ringed with strands of opaque yellow and white glass before being gently feathered to create the zigzagging exterior decorations. The shoulder and neck are surrounded with layered yellow and white strips, and the rim is lined with a single stripe of yellow glass. Thin layers of silvery and rainbow-hued iridescence have formed across the vessel and nicely complement its vibrant coloration. Size: 1.5" W x 4.375" H (3.8 cm x 11.1 cm); 4.875" H (12.4 cm) on included custom stand.
According to the Corning Museum of Glass, core forming is "the technique of forming a vessel by winding or gathering molten glass around a core supported by a rod. After forming, the object is removed from the rod and annealed. After annealing, the core is removed by scraping." This process of glass making was begun in the late 16th century BCE by glassmakers of Mesopotamia, and then adopted by Egyptian glassmakers in the 15th century BCE. The technique almost came to an end in the so-called Dark Ages of Mediterranean civilization (1200 to 900 BCE); however, by the 9th century BCE a new generation of glassmakers took up the technique once again, and between the 6th and 4th century BCE core-forming spread throughout the Mediterranean.
Cf. "Solid Liquid: Greek, Roman, Byzantine and Islamic Glass." Fortuna Fine Arts, Ltd., New York, 1999, p. 23, fig. 19.
Provenance: private Washington, D.C., USA collection; ex-Fred Lameris collection, Amsterdam, Netherlands, purchased March 24, 2019; ex-Anton and Anneke Engels collection, purchased January 27, 1978
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Repaired from multiple pieces, with very small areas of restoration on body, and resurfacing with light adhesive residue along new material and break lines. Abrasions and light weathering film to body, handles, and rim, and light encrustations. Great silvery and rainbow iridescence throughout and nice preservation to glass color.