Ancient Glass Blog of The Allaire Collection


Posted in Uncategorized by Allaire Collection of Glass on March 25, 2017


Late 2nd – 1st century BC. Syro-Palestinian.

H= 5.0 cm. D max= 12.8 cm. D rim= 12.8 cm. Weight 190 gr.

Condition: Intact. Surface well preserved.

Technique: Cast from flat circular blank, sagged over a former-mold and tooled.Ground and rotary-polished on interior, fire-polished on exterior.

Description: Translucent natural olive green glass. Bowl with convex sides and slightly concave bottom. Twenty-one asymmetrical ribs that are unevenly sized and spaced and set at varying angles and levels around the body. Most ribs have been ground away at the top, others were positioned too low to be touched by the grinding tool. The rim unevenly rounded. Tooling marks visible on the rounded edge of rim and on exterior wall above the ribs either horizontal, vertical or oblique. Grounding marks below the rim on both interior and exterior.

Remarks: The irregularity of the ribs and the tooling marks on and below the edge of the rim may suggest, that this bowl was manufactured by sagging over a former mold, mounted on a slowly rotating wheel and by tooling the ribs. This tooling of ribs required skill and experience, so that bowls with almost clumsily formed ribs (as on this bowl) are the earliest. Thus this bowl might belong to an experimental phase within the 2nd century B.C. Whether ribs were to strengthen the vessel wall or merely served as decoration is uncertain. This bowl stands as a precursor to the early Roman ribbed bowls, that have more evenly spaced and shaped ribs and   appear in bright and colored fabrics and in different proportions.

Provenance: Collection P.L.W. Arts, 2002.

 Published: Arts 2000, A Collection of Ancient glass 550 BC – 500 AD, No. 11.

Exhibited: Thermenmuseum Heerlen (NL), Romeins glas uit particulier bezit, 29 April – 28 August 2011, No. 004.

References: Arveiller-Dulong 2000, Musée du Louvre, No. 217. Metropolitan Museum of Art, accession number 17.194.196. Annales AIHV1996, “A ribbed bowl from a late Iron Age burial at Hertford Heath” by Jennifer Price. Sheppard & Cooper 1976, pl 4 (now in British Museum).

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