• Christies auction house James Christie logo

    Sale 1914

    Ancient Jewelry

    6 December 2007, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

  • Lot 482

    TWO MINIATURE BYZANTINE GLASS JUG PENDANTS

    CIRCA MID 4TH-EARLY 5TH CENTURY A.D.

    Price Realised  

    Estimate

    TWO MINIATURE BYZANTINE GLASS JUG PENDANTS
    CIRCA MID 4TH-EARLY 5TH CENTURY A.D.
    Both tooled, one blue in color, the other blue-green in color, each with an open network in yellow trailed around the body, meeting to form the handle, and continuing around the rim; mounted as earrings in modern gold settings with an ancient glass bead below
    2¾ in. (7 cm.) long (2)


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    Stern (Roman, Byzantine, and Early Medieval Glass, p. 361-362) asserts that these tiny vessels were possibly worn as amulets, suspended by the handles. She suggests a Christian association, citing the shape of the jugs as evoking vessels used to collect holy water from Christian sites, and their distribution across the Eastern Mediterranean, specifically Syro-Palestine and Western Europe. For similar examples, see fig. 8 in Stern, op. cit., and nos. 342-352 in Spaer, Ancient Glass in the Israel Museum. Stern, op. cit., notes that these glass vessels were not blown and likely were made by the same craftsmen producing tooled glass beads.

    Provenance

    with Ariadne Galleries, New York, 1980s.