Ancient Glass Blog of The Allaire Collection


Posted in Uncategorized by Allaire Collection of Glass on August 30, 2017

SNAIL RHYTON of Nico F. Bijnsdorp

Roman glass snail rhyton

Roman glass snail rhyton

Late 1st – early 2nd century AD.
H= 14.5 cm. D max= 5.3 cm. D rim= 5.3 cm. Weight 133 gr.

Classification: Isings 1957: Form 73a.

Condition: Intact. Minute stress crack (1 cm) and tiny chips at rim. Some weathering.

Technique: Mold blown body, tooled. Applied horns.

Description: Transparent yellowish-green glass. Drinking horn (rhyton) partly blown in mold with six vertical elongated indentations. Free blown short concave mouth with splayed cracked off, unworked rim. Wall descending into 90 degrees angle, tapering towards terminal in the form of a snail head. Elongated, pointed snout, open at the tip to allow liquid to be poured into the drinker’s mouth. Two prominent horns with tooling marks applied.

Remarks: The height was measured vertically when rhyton stands on its rim. Longitudinal length over the convex side 27.5 cm. Glass snail rhyta are imitations of metal and earthenware types and are rare. The glass snail rhyta without foot are rarer than the footed examples. It is known from Roman frescoes that a banqueter drinks a liquid (wine?) from such a rhyton. Rhyta were also used to pour libations.

Published: Pierre Bergé 26 May 2011, No. 354.

Bonomi 1996, National Archaeological Museum of Adria, No. 449.
Lazarus 1974, Cinzano Collection.
Calvi 1968, Aquileia Museum, Tavola 19.1.
Whitehouse 1997, Corning Museum, No. 186.
Pierre Bergé 5 December 2010, No. 267.

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