Ancient Glass Blog of The Allaire Collection

ROMAN VICTORY BEAKER

Posted in Uncategorized by Allaire Collection of Glass on November 15, 2018

VICTORY BEAKER OF

The Augustinus Collection of Ancient Glass

(THREE SIDES)

 

VICTORY BEAKER 1st. Century A.D. Harden group: K.1.iii Syro-Palestinian, probably made in Sidon

 

­­Size: ↑ 7.0-7.1 cm | Ø Body: 6.1 cm | Ø Rim: 6.3-6.46 cm | Ø Base facet: 6.2cm |     Thickness rim: 0.15 cm, body max. 0.20 cm | Weight: 37 g. |

 Technique: Blown into a two-part mould with two vertical sections (MCTVII) and separate base plate; vertical mold seams from rim to base through palm leaves. Rim cut off and unworked, slightly out-splayed.

Description: Cylindrical cup of translucent manganese colored glass, with mold-blown inscription, two diametrical opposed palm fronds and six schematic wreaths.

The body with three registers divided by horizontal ribs, the upper and lower each with six stylized wreaths, consisting of two concentric circles joined by radial lines. The central register with a Greek  text: ΛABE THN  NEIKHN, meaning: ‘Seize the Victory’, the N formed backwards as can be seen on many of the existing examples in this group.

Base flat with a barely perceptible sunken dot in the center surrounded by a slightly raised ring.

Condition: Thin glass (0.15-0.20 cm) with one hardly visible crack. Two very small chips and one larger broken off from the rim. Mold-relief medium crisp. Sand encrusted on the inside and outside, with faint weathering and iridescent film on the side and base.

Remarks:

1. Donald B. Harden distinguishes, in his article in the Journal of Roman Studies, 19351, three sub-types of cylindrical Victory Beakers, following his description the example in the Augustinus Collection can be attributed to group K1iii, with the exception that the letter B is connected to the ridges above and under the inscription and that no knotted ends are visible below each of the six wreaths, which is remarkable and makes this example possibly unique  and  belonging to a different category.

2. E. Marianne Stern elaborately describes the Victory Cups in the collection of The Toledo Museum of Art. She suggests in Roman Mold-blown Glass 2, (1995), page. 98, concerning cup no 2, ‘Seize the victory’ : ‘the motto probably refers to drinking contests’ and that ‘distribution patterns of the Victory Cups between the Syro-Palestinian coast, Cyprus, Greece and Sardinia recalls that of bulbous cups, products of Sidonia workshops such as Ennion and Aristides

3. David Whitehouse remarks in the catalogue of The Corning Museum of Glass3: “Beakers inscribed: ‘LABE THN/NEIKHN’ are fairly common and this (the one in the museum) is an example of the commonest type, in which the inscription is written in a single line.’ He also brings up: ‘Two variants occur: one with the letter N of THN formed correctly and the other with a backward N.’ Whether examples with the N placed in normal position form  a minority or not, has not become clear.

Provenance: From a private dutch collection, first publication.

Reference: Metropolitan Museum of Art New York, Harden 1944-5, p.94. Yale University Art Gallery, Matheson 1980, p.53, no 134. The Toledo Museum of Art, Stern 1995, pp 99-100, no 4 and no 3.Corning Museum of Glass, Whitehouse 2001, vol. 2, no 491, p.26.

 Bibliography::

  • Donald B. Harden, Journal of Roman Studies 25, 1935, Romano-Syrian Glasses with Mold-blown Inscriptions.163-186
  • Marianne Stern, 1995, Roman Mold-blown Glass, ISBN 88-7062-916-3
  • David Whitehouse, 2001, Roman Glass in the Corning Museum of Glass, NY, SBN 0-87290-5

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