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    Sale 13850

    Ancient Glass from the Shlomo Moussaieff Collection

    6 July 2016, London, King Street

  • Lot 283

    A ROMAN GLASS FISH FLASK

    CIRCA 3RD CENTURY A.D.

    Price Realised  

    Estimate

    A ROMAN GLASS FISH FLASK
    CIRCA 3RD CENTURY A.D.
    The olive body in the form of an open-mouthed fish, with applied mouth, eyes, dorsal and side fins, and end of tail, all opaque black with some red streaks
    7 ¼ in. (18.4 cm.) long


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    PUBLISHED:
    P. Clemenz & T. Steinemann (eds), 3000 Jahre Glaskunst von der Antike bis zum Jugendstil, exhibition cat. (Kunstmuseum Luzern), Lucerne, 1981, no. 437.

    For a similar fish-shaped vessel, see Matheson, 1980, p. 87ff, no. 239. Matheson notes that while blown vessels in the shape of fish are known to have been produced in Cologne, those with trailed details such as eyes and fins are thought to have originated in the Eastern Mediterranean. The Yale example retains a gold link chain, which is joined to the fins and hangs beneath the body of the fish, with a circular ornament attachment suspended below. Matheson draws a parallel to a bronze fish in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, which has a similar chain, and also a separate stopper, suspended on a second chain, which closes the mouth of the fish (acc. no. 62.10.4). Some of these glass fish-shaped flasks may have been used to contain garum, the strong fish sauce made from fermented salted entrails.

    Provenance

    Ernst and Marthe Kofler-Truniger collection, Lucerne.
    Ancient Glass Formerly in the Kofler-Truniger Collection; Christie's, London, 5-6 March 1985, lot 66.
    with Hadji Baba Ancient Art, London (The Beauty of Ancient Glass, London, 1995, no. 36).


    Exhibited

    Kunstmuseum Luzern, Lucerne, 3,000 Jahre Glaskunst, 19 July-13 September 1981.