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    Sale 13850

    Ancient Glass from the Shlomo Moussaieff Collection

    6 July 2016, London, King Street

  • Lot 218

    A ROMAN PALE BLUE GLASS ANIMAL-HEADED RHYTON

    CIRCA 1ST CENTURY A.D.

    Price Realised  

    Estimate

    A ROMAN PALE BLUE GLASS ANIMAL-HEADED RHYTON
    CIRCA 1ST CENTURY A.D.
    The horn-shaped vessel with ribbed body, tapering to terminate in an animal head, with short knobbed horns and a pointed face, pierced at the tip
    6 ¼ in. (15.6 cm.) high


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    Glass animal-headed rhyta are rare, with un-footed examples such as the present lot being the most unusual within this group. It would seem their form imitates examples in pottery and metal. For a very similar vessel, see a rhyton discovered in a tomb in Mdina, Malta, and housed in the Domus Romana museum there. For another found in northern Italy, see Mandruzzato & Marcante, 2005, p. 51 and p. 113, no. 330. For footed examples, see Whitehouse, 1997, no. 184, and Auth, 1976, p. 94, no. 100: Auth comments that "the spout could have been deliberately broken to allow liquid to be poured from it. A banqueter on a fresco from Pompeii uses a rhyton in this way to pour wine into his mouth (cf. Herculaneum Museum inv. no. 9024 in M. Beretta and G. di Pasquale (ed), Vitrum. Il vetro fra arte e scienza nel mondo romano, Florence, 2004, p. 275), while Lares on Pompeiian household shrine paintings hold aloft rhyta for pouring libations".

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    Provenance

    Acquired prior to 1998.