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    Sale 5951

    Antiquities Including the Plesch Collection of Ancient Glass

    28 April 2009, London, South Kensington

  • Lot 77

    A LARGE ROMAN 'MARBLED' MOSAIC GLASS RIBBED BOWL FRAGMENT

    LATE 1ST CENTURY B.C./EARLY 1ST CENTURY A.D.

    Price Realised  

    Estimate

    A LARGE ROMAN 'MARBLED' MOSAIC GLASS RIBBED BOWL FRAGMENT
    LATE 1ST CENTURY B.C./EARLY 1ST CENTURY A.D.
    With outsplayed rim and moulded vertical ribs on the exterior, with two opaque white and blue spiralling mosaic patterns on translucent golden-brown ground, 3 3/8 in. (8.5 cm.) wide; another similar with onyx mosaic pattern, late 1st Century B.C./early 1st Century A.D., 3½ in. (9 cm.) wide; and two Late Hellenistic ribbon-glass bowl fragments, circa 1st Century B.C., 2 3/8 in. (6 cm.) wide max. (4)


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    (AGm 8.5, AGm 10A, AGm 4.6)

    The technique of making mosaic glass was known from antiquity but it was only in the later Hellenistic period, with increasing demand for luxury glass vessels, that the technique was refined and developed into an art. The main centre of production was Alexandria in Egypt, and vessels were exported around the Mediterranean. Demand in Italy was such that during the reign of the Emperor Augustus, workshops were established in Italy. The first two items in the above lot are from 'marbled' glass bowls, made by trailing coloured and white threads together in undulating lines in imitation of banded stones, such as onyx and agate. The latter two fragments in the above lot are from ribbon-glass, made by laying strips of different colours side by side in the mould and interspersing them with transparent rods with spiral threads. Cf. D. F. Grose, Early Ancient Glass, The Toledo Museum of Art, 1989, pp. 269-277, nos. 250-284, for items 1, 2 and 4; and J. W. Hayes, Roman and Pre-Roman Glass in the Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto, 1975, p. 192. nos. 65-68.

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    Provenance

    Plesch collection; acquired from Christopher Sheppard, London, between 1981-1987.