Roman Opaque Blue Glass Pitcher
New York | Vessels
 
Date:  1st Century AD
Culture:  Roman
Category:  Vessels
Medium:  Glass
Dimension: H: 9.5 cm D: 6.5 cm
Price: $11,000.00
Provenance: Acquired on the European art market, 1980’s
Serial No: 4596

This elegant pitcher was made of a very beautiful opaque pale blue glass. It is a rare shape among the glass vessels. A perfectly ovoid body does not have a special base, the bottom is slightly indent; the short neck is transforming into the flaring mouth with the thin rounded lip. The symmetry of the shape was achieved in free blowing, while a small lug with a hole was added to the lip after.

Glass making technique in antiquity originated in the second millennium B. C. in Egypt and Mesopotamia and progressed from core-molding to mold-pressing and glass-cutting, subsequently to free-blowing and mold-blowing. With a versatility like no other known material in Roman times, abundant availability, lightness and ease of use, glass enabled the imitation of a wide range of other materials (especially precious metals or stones), whether in the form, the design or the color. Furthermore, the ancients certainly knew that glass is a chemically neutral substance, what makes it particularly suitable for the storage of food, but also of cosmetics or pharmaceutical products.