Flask in the Form of a Wineskin
Period: 1st century A.D.
Dimensions: Height: 8.6 cm (3.4 in)
Acquired on the European art market, c.a. 1980’s.
Complete; the mouth was reassembled from a few fragments; surface cleaned, inside covered with some iridescence and crust.
Roman glass vessels, which shapes follow natural forms, are not infrequent, they copy a bunch of grapes, pine cone, date, acorn, fish, bird, and even a human face. Other category of vessels imitates objects made by a human hand such as a woven basketry jar, transport amphora, barrel, or, as it is one here, a leather container for wine, a wineskin made of the animal skin, often sewn up from the goat skin. Such a vessel is very rare and does not find a direct analogy. Made of a transparent light-greenish glass using the free-blown technique, it demonstrates the extraordinary technical virtuosity.
TEFAF New York, Spring 2017
SOFA Chicago, November 2017
KUNINA N., Ancient Glass in the Hermitage Collection, St. Petersburg, 1997, pp. 327-328, nos. 377-378.
STERN E. M., The Toledo Museum of Art, Roman Mold-blown Glass, The First Through Sixth Centuries, Toledo, 199, p. 154, no 59 (basket-shape vessel).