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AN EARLY JEWISH GLASS FRAGMENT
THE PROPERTY OF TSADIK KAPLAN
AN EARLY JEWISH GLASS FRAGMENT

CIRCA 2ND-4TH CENTURY A.D.

Details
AN EARLY JEWISH GLASS FRAGMENT Circa 2nd-4th Century A.D. Pale yellow-green in color, preserving part of one side of a four-sided vessel, mold-blown with a medallion at the center in raised relief depicting a seven-branched menorah flanked by a shofar and lulav, encircled by a wreath knotted at the bottom end, the ties extending to either side 5¼ in. (13.3 cm) long
Provenance
Acquired in London, 2002

Lot Essay

This fragment is thought to be unique amongst surviving examples of ancient Judaica. While bearing close resemblances to mold-blown glass vessels of Jerusalem type, circa 4th-7th century A.D., there are profound differences in size, motif and the color of the glass.

It is possible that the present example was used in similar fashion to gold glass bases that were inserted into the walls of catacombs to designate the religion of the cubiculum's owner. The presence of Jewish motifs, such as the implements of the Feasts of the Tabernacle, (lulav, shofar, etrog) and the menorah, were all symbols of the Second Temple in Jerusalem, which was destroyed by the Romans in 70 A.D. Such designation of the burial place of a Jew was thought to be important in identifying the buried in preparation for the believed redemption of all Jewish people that would be brought by the arrival of the Messiah (see Narkiss in Weitzmann, ed., Age of Spirituality, Late Antique and Early Christian Art, Third to Seventh Century, p. 371).

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