Ancient Glass Blog of The Allaire Collection


Posted in Uncategorized by Allaire Collection of Glass on April 4, 2018

Roman Jar with Three Handles and Zig-Zag Decoration 


The Windmill Collection of Roman Glass

Date: 4th century A.D.   Size: H = 6.3 cm Dia = 5.5 cm


Description:  Jar of transparent, colorless glass, free blown with a curved bottom and pontil mark. At 1/3 of the round body, three cobalt blue handles are almost straight up and fixed with a sharp bend on the edge. This edge is like glass wire, also cobalt blue, separately set for reinforcement. In the lower part (from right to left) around a turquoise zig-zag decoration is applied, the last two of which with three thin horizontal wires.

Provenance: Professor Dr. Thomas J. Garbáty collection (Michigan, USA) 

Condition: Intact

 Remarks: Jars like this were probably used for cosmetic purposes. The zig-zag decoration is one of the design motifs that came into vogue from the middle of the 4th century in the eastern provinces of the Roman Empire. S.J. Fleming distinguishes four most common decorations:- row with 2 glass wires, attached to both sides of a bottle. The wires are then repeatedly squeezed in dots;- medium-thick glass wire arranged in a zig-zag manner (like a meander) around the entire body;- two glass wires, wrapped around the neck and still somewhere on the body;- sturdy spiral wires of thin glass around the neck (always just below the edge.  Of course there are various variants on this, as well as combinations of a few motifs.

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