Surviving examples of Roman enamelled glass are rare and it is difficult to be precise with the dating and possible origin of this piece. The spherical body decorated with a continuous scene below a band comprising yellow and red painted lines is reminiscent of a similar globular flask in The Corning Museum of Glass, decorated with Apollo and Marsyas, dated to the 2nd to 3rd century A.D., cf. D. B. Whitehouse, Roman Glass in The Corning Museum of Glass, II, Corning, 2001, pp. 270-2, no. 865. On the Corning example, however, the enamel decoration is combined with gilding as with the Daphne Ewer also in the museum (ibid., pp. 266-70, no. 864).
Another similarity with the Apollo and Marsyas flask is the absence of a pontil mark on the underside of the base, usually seen as indicative of an early Imperial date. This together with the yellow and red painted rosette on the base might suggest that this flask is related to a group of vessels, mostly beakers, decorated with a variety of scenes dating to the 1st century A.D., cf. B. Rütti, 'Early Enamelled Glass' in M. Newby and K. Painter (eds.), Roman Glass. Two Centuries of Art and Invention, London, 1991, pp. 122-36. Around forty vessels and fragments are known from this group which have been found on sites throughout the Empire although an Eastern Mediterranean or Egyptian place of manufacture is the most probable. Of these vessels, a bowl similarly decorated with fish and other sea-creatures, was found in a rubbish pit at Winterthur in northern Switzerland (ibid, fig. 24c, pl. XXXIIIb) while further fragments painted with fish have also been found at Vindonissa and Xanten.
To these can be added a second group of beakers found in cache of luxury vessels at Begram, Afghanistan, originally believed by the excavators to date from the 3rd century A.D. but re-attributed to the 1st or early 2nd century A.D. by David Whitehouse ('Begram reconsidered', Kolner Jahrbucher, 22, 1989, pp. 151-7), which is the most probable date for this important flask. These beakers are also decorated with bands containing floreate designs or leafy rosettes within double line borders that also occur on a beaker with a theatrical scene with four actors now in the Los Angeles County Museum, cf. A. von Saldern, Glass 500 B.C. to A.D. 1900. The Hans Cohn Collection, Mainz-am-Rheim, 1980, pp. 46-7, no. 38, pl. 4.