Ancient Glass Blog of The Allaire Collection


Posted in Uncategorized by Allaire Collection of Glass on August 15, 2019

GUTTUS of Nico F. Bijnsdorp



3rd – 4th century AD. Eastern Mediterranean, probably Syria.

H= 18.8 cm. D max= 9.3 cm. D rim= 3.9 cm. D base= 4.8 cm. Weight 76 gr.

Condition: Intact. Some iridescence.

Technique: Free blown. Wheel-cut.

Description: Transparent, almost colorless glass with a grayish green tinge. Squat globular body with pushed in base ring. Kicked base with pontil mark. Horizontal shoulder with pinched vent-spout. Long vertical tubular neck, curving at right angle towards a funnel mouth with rounded and thickened rim. The body decorated with three bands of horizontal encircling lines: one narrow band just below shoulder and one similar band near bottom, a broad band at midpoint of body.

Remarks: The function of this vessel is unknown. It might have had a medical application. Some scholars suggest it was a distilling apparatus, but the vent suggests more a pouring vessel to allow the liquid to be poured at controlled rate. Also the date is difficult to define: some scholars date this guttus back to 1st-2nd century AD. This example is extremely rare because of its base ring which makes free-standing possible. None of the parallels have such a base ring.

Provenance: Collection Dr. G. Kersley, Bath. Folio Fine Art, London. Charles Ede Ltd., London.

References: Christie’s 5/6 March 1985, Kofler-Truniger Collection, No. 62., La Baume 1976, Karl Löffler Collection, No. 104.
Kunz 1981, Kunstmuseum Luzern, No. 394., Massabò 2001, Aquileia Museum, No. 71.

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