THIN-WALLED ‘SPLASHED’ ARYBALLOS
ROMAN THIN-WALLED ‘SPLASHED GLASS’ ARYBALLOS of Hans van Rossum
Mid-1st century AD | Eastern Mediterranean or Italy
Size↑6.5 cm | ø 4.5 cm | Weight 26 g
Technique: Free blown, picked-up opaque white chips; handles applied
Classification: Barag 1970, vol. 2, pl. 37, type 9.1
Description: Aryballos of thin translucent blue glass with flecks of opaque white color, this so called splashed glass is a much more elaborate and earlier product than the well- known aryballoi. This oil flask has a globular body resting on a flattened base, a cylindrical neck. The rim folded outward, downward, upward and inward to form a collar-like rim. Two handles applied on the shoulder, drawn up and attached to the neck. The handles in translucent light blue glass. The bottle as a whole decorated with random ”splashes” of opaque white glass. No pontil mark.
Condition: It is difficult to determine whether the body has some very fine hairline cracks, or that this is due to the composition of the splashed glass. (Craquelé)
Remarks: These splashes were produced by rolling a bubble of (blue) glass over a marver covered with shards and chips of colored (white) glass. The bubble of glass mixed with the shards and chips would then have been reheated to make it ready for blowing. The chips melt flush with the surface and change shape when the glass expands; round at the greatest diameter, elongated vertical in the neck. ”It has been suggested that this technique may have been developed to imitate the more costly mosaic glass. An exceptional example of a rare technique of decorating ancient glass. Many of these glasses are found in the Aegean area and in South-Russia.” (Whitehouse 1997) On the backside of the stand a brown-colored paper label with the following text: ”Amphora, röm. Kaizerzeit 1 Jh post – OP S 141 rejo’’.
Provenance: Auktionshaus Cologne, Germany, Private collection, Cologne; acquired in the 1950s, thence by descent
Published: Romeins Glas uit particulier bezit, J. van der Groen & H. van Rossum 2011, p. 98
De Oude Flesch, no. 121, 2010, p. 22. Vormen uit Vuur no. 220 (2013), p. 21
Exhibited: Thermenmuseum Heerlen (NL), Romeins Glas, geleend uit particulier bezit, no. 166
29 April – 28 August 2011
Reference: The Benzian Collection of Ancient and Islamic Glass, Sotheby’s London 7 July 1994 lot 134
Römische Kleinkunst Sammlung Karl Löffler, P. La Baume – J.W. Salomonson no. 18, inv. no. 181