About this artwork
Late Antique Glass
Glass vessels were part of the luxurious domestic decoration displayed in wealthy households in both urban villas and rural estates in the later Roman and early Byzantine eras (about 300–725). Glass vessels were used for a variety of purposes, including cosmetic containers. In the kitchen and for dining, pitchers served water and wine, and small cups were used for drinking. Glass was also used for lamps to light the home.
Byzantine glass craftsmen improved upon the techniques, forms, and decorative motifs they had inherited from their Roman predecessors. An imperial edict of 337 exempted glassworkers from personal taxes and attested to their relative status in society; it remained in effect for several centuries. These artisans would, in turn, pass on their craft to successive generations, including those who worked under Islamic rule after the important Byzantine provinces of Egypt, Palestine, and Syria were conquered in the seventh century.
Guttrolfs were made by pinching the body of a vessel into parallel tubes. When liquid was poured out of the bottle, an amusing play of bubbles resulted.
Currently Off View
- Ancient and Byzantine Art
- Ancient Roman
- 301 AD–400 AD
- Glass, blown technique
- 21.2 × 5.7 × 5.7 cm (8 3/8 × 2 1/4 × 2 1/4 in.)
- Gift of Theodore W. and Frances S. Robinson