Ancient Greece, Hellenistic Period, ca. 3rd to 1st century BCE. A lovely example of a core-formed glass amphoriskos (miniature amphora) once used to hold perfumed oils. The petite vessel presents with a miniscule foot, an inverted piriform body with a rounded shoulder, a narrow neck surmounted by a thick rim, and a single trail handle arching between rim and shoulder. The body is formed from opaque blue glass with feathered sections of yellow and clear glass around the lower body, concentric stripes on the shoulder, and a pair of thin stripes just above the foot. A fine vessel from Hellenistic Greece! Size: 1.7" W x 2.6" H (4.3 cm x 6.6 cm).
A vessel like this would have been made for the elites of ancient society. Its owner would have used a stopper to keep the contents inside, and a glass rod to dip into the vessel's perfumed oils and dab on the throat or wrists. The little handles made it possible to suspend the vessel, and we know from Athenian vase paintings that vessels like these could be worn off a belt at the waist or suspended from the wrist.
The Greeks created core-formed or sandcore vessels by trailing threads of molten glass over a "core" of sand or clay to form the vessel. These threads were oftentimes feathered or dragged to create intriguing decorative patterns. The term amphoriskos literally means "little amphora" and is indeed a miniature amphora. This shape was quite popular as it was ideal to store precious oils, perfumes, or cosmetics.
Provenance: ex-estate of Roy Green, Birmingham, Alabama acquired before 2015 from major New York gallery
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Repaired from multiple pieces, with small losses to feathered glass and one handle, and light adhesive residue along break lines. Minor abrasions to foot, body, and rim, with light encrustations. Nice earthen deposits throughout.