Roman, Parthian, Imperial Period, ca. 2nd to 4th century CE. A squat, free-blown, emerald-green glass cup with a concave base and a rough pontil scar, short walls, a shallow interior cavity, and a smooth, rolled rim. The exterior of the vessel displays three separate trails of applied rigaree, each beginning with a thick clump of glass and ending with a thin tail. Faint areas of silvery iridescence complement the vessel's verdant color and give it an elegant appearance. Given the overall form, this cup may have at one time been used as a taller beaker. The rim may have been re-fired after the top portion broke off so as to give it new life as a drinking vessel. Size: 2.45" W x 2.125" H (6.2 cm x 5.4 cm).
Ancient glass manufacture had begun in the 2nd millennium BC in Mesopotamia and Egypt. The Greeks and Phoenicians advanced glass technology greatly in the latter 1st millennium BC. In the early 1st century AD, Roman workshops began producing blown glass on a large scale. Eventually glass vessels came to replace a wide variety of pottery and metal wares in the ancient world. Ancient Roman glass was traded far beyond the Roman Empire. Roman glass vessels have been found in Scandinavia, India, and in Han Dynasty tombs in China.
For a similar example with an added foot, please see The Metropolitan Museum of Art, accession number 81.10.126: https://metmuseum.org/art/collection/search/245283
Provenance: private East Coast, USA collection; ex-Artemis Gallery; ex-private Metzger collection, Washington, D.C., USA; ex-Royal Athena Gallery, New York, New York, USA
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Surface wear and light abrasions commensurate with age, light roughness to body and base, a few small chips along body, light fading to coloration, and some areas of russet-hued staining. Light earthen deposits within recessed areas and on edges of rigaree, and nice areas of faint silvery iridescence.