Roman Empire, Lebanon, Sidonian, ca. mid 1st to early 2nd century CE. A fine mold blown flask resembling a fruit - perhaps in the date family - with an impressed textured surface - the body of the vessel in gorgeous translucent golden hued glass with hints of aubergine - its generally oblong form with a short neck and a flaring rim of greener tones. Note how the mold was carefully crafted to create the impression of a fruit's wrinkled skin. In addition to its stunning coloring, generous areas of rainbow iridescence cast a mesmerizing glow upon the surface. Size: 3.875" H (9.8 cm); 4.25" H (10.8 cm) on included custom stand.
Here are the ancient encyclopedist Pliny's words as he describes his voyage to Sidon - 'where glass is made': "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 CE).
Provenance: ex-private S. Shalom collection, New York, USA, acquired in the 1970s
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Stabilized crack down one side of the vessel and a smaller fissure on the neck. Rim possibly reattached but almost invisibly reattached. Amazing rainbow iridescence as well as earthen deposits grace the surface.