Roman , Sidonian, Lebanon, ca. 1st century CE. In a word, BREATHTAKING! A fine, miniature mold-blown glass amphora in rich aubergine - truly of brilliant violet purple hues. Note how the mold was meticulously created to delineate intricate details - including a central register of spiral motifs framed by a band of ribs above and one complementing it below. Undulating trails of blue-green glass form the attractive twin handles joining neck to shoulder. A very fine form with a surface that sparkles with glistening silvery iridescence from Sidon, a center of art glass production in ancient times. Size: 2.875" H (7.3 cm)
Here are Pliny's words as he described his voyage to Sidon and mentions the coveted purple dye that came from shellfish in Tyre, "From this point on we must go back to the coast and to Phoenicia. There was formerly a town called Crocodilian, and there still is a river of that name …Then comes Cape Carmel … Next are Getta, Geba, and the river Pacida or Belus … Close to this river is Ptolemais … Next Tyre, once an island separated from the mainland by a very deep sea-channel 700 yards wide, but now joined to it by the works constructed by Alexander when besieging the place … but the entire renown of Tyre now consists in a shell-fish and a purple dye! … Next are Zarephath and the city of birds (Ornithon oppidum), and Sidon, the mother-city of Thebes in Boeotia where glass is made. (Pliny, Natural History V.75-76, 77-79 A.D.).
Provenance: private East Coast, USA collection
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Near choice if not choice. Stunning silvery iridescence over aubergine glass of brilliant purple hues.