A Hellenistic mosaic glass bowl

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Lot 8*
A Hellenistic mosaic glass bowl

Sold for £ 171,650 (US$ 237,445) inc. premium

Antiquities

14 Jul 2004, 18:00 BST

London, New Bond Street

A Hellenistic mosaic glass bowl
late 3rd-2nd Century B.C.
Assembled from sections of a pre-formed composite mosaic glass cane comprising an opaque yellow spiral in a translucent cobalt-blue matrix and cast over a former mould to form a hemispherical bowl with a slightly everted rim, the interior of the bowl and the rim rotary polished afterwards, the exterior fire-polished thereby creating a smoother and more shiny surface, 3in. (7.5cm.) high, 5in. (13.5cm.) diam., broken and mended

Footnotes

  • Provenance:
    Ex Richard Reedy Collection, Gloucester, Massachusetts
    Ex British Rail Pension Fund Collection, London

    Richard Reedy began collecting ancient glass in the mid 1960s, and formed a collection of about sixty pieces, most of which he sold at Sotheby Parke Bernet in New York in 1979. He gave several pieces from his collection to the Corning Museum of Glass, Corning, New York, where he was a founding Fellow from 1981-1997.

    On Loan:
    The Archer M. Huntington Art Gallery, Austin, Texas, 1981-1988
    The San Antonio Museum of Art, San Antonio, Texas, 1988-1990

    Published:
    ‘Recent Important Acquisitions’, Journal of Glass Studies, vol.XIX, (Corning 1977), p.169, no.3.
    Speers 1980, p.401
    Sotheby’s 1997, pp.56-7, lot 12, illus. on front cover

    Literature:
    The spiral design of the mosaic cane used in this bowl displays one of the two principal patterns employed by Hellenistic glassmakers from the late 3rd to early 1st Century B.C. in which a light coloured spiral, of two or three turnings and usually of opaque white or opaque yellow glass, was set into a dark translucent or colourless ground (cf. Grose 1989, pp.189-90). The spirals that appear green in this bowl, however, are not intentionally coloured green but rather, they are the result of opaque yellow spirals being viewed through clearer blue glass. The other principal pattern used in the Hellenistic period was a star design formed by a cluster of radiating opaque white or yellow lines again in either a dark translucent or colourless ground.

    More unusually in this bowl, however, is the absence of a twisted reticelli or network cane used to form an even rim (cf. Schultz 1985, col. pl.8b for a related example, also with a plain rim, in the Museum für Vor-und Frühgeschichte, Freiberg). The use of a reticelli cane to form rims continued into later Roman production, the only other exceptions being two shallow mosaic glass dishes found at Canosa, southern Italy, and now in the British Museum (cf. Harden 1968, pp.25-7, nos.3-4, figs.10-15), which have been dated to the late 3rd to early 2nd century B.C. (Grose 1989, pp.189-90, fig.90).
A Hellenistic mosaic glass bowl
A Hellenistic mosaic glass bowl
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