Ribbed glass bowl, Alexandria, 50 BC-50 AD

Ribbed glass bowl, Alexandria, 50 BC-50 AD
Period:Egypt, Graeco-Roman Period, Graeco-Roman Period
Dating:50 BC–50 AD
Origin:Egypt, Lower Egypt, Alexandria
Material:Glass (all types)
Physical:15.6cm. (6.1 in.) - 255 g. (9 oz.)

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  This ribbed bowl was made of translucent green glass. The glass is thick, becoming thinner at the rim. The bottom presents a slight regular concavity. The rim appears to have been ground and polished.

One hundred and four tooled ribs decorate the outside. These were probably tooled on a potter’s wheel. Two concentric circles (the inner circle is a single groove 7 mm in diameter, the outer circle is a double groove 52 mm in diameter) decorate the inside of the bowl. They were probably cold cut with a pointed tool while the bowl was rotated on a potter’s wheel (lathe cut). Egypt, Alexandria, 50 BC-50 AD.

Tooled ribbed bowls are common, but not with such fine and numerous ribs. The only parallels we have found so far with such fine ribbing were molded, not tooled.

“Ribbed bowl. Ht. 4.5 cm, mouth diameter 16.7 cm. Bowl made of pale aquamarine glass with a slight greenish tinge; cast. This bowl has a large well-proportioned form. On the upper section of the vessel’s exterior, below the rim, is a band of small, closely-spaced ribs. The top of the ribs and the adjacent area above have been lathe-cut or polished, using a manufacturing technique which is still being studied. On the interior, below the ground rim, is a lathe-cut line. The bottom is decorated with a pair of similar lines, engraved around a central lathe-cut circle. This bowl has also acquired a remarkable bluish-green iridescence with black specks. Roman, late 1st century BC - 1st century AD” (Fortuna 1991:18-19 #24).

“Schale. H. 4.8 cm, Diameter 12.9 cm. Syro-Palestinian. 50 BC-50 AD” (Münzen und Medaillen 1986:7 #3).

“Ribbed bowl. Late century BC to the first half of the 1st century AD. H. 5.7 cm.; D.15.4 cm. Purple and colourless streak. Probably sagged, tooled and lathe-cut; obvious tool marks below rim. Shallow bowl; rounded by grinding… On exterior, forty-eight irregular ribs, round the sides, more or less vertical, from just below rim… On interior, visible wide lathe-cut groove” (Harden 1987:50 #26).

Bibliography (for this item)

Fortuna Fine Arts, Ltd.,
1991 Shining Vessels: Ancient Glass from Greek, Roman, and Islamic Times. Fortuna Fine Arts, Ltd., New York, NY. (18-19 # 24)

Harden, Donald B.
1987 Glass of the Caesars. Olivetti, Milan, Italy. (50 # 26)

Münzen und Medaillen,
1986 Auktion 70. Kunswerke der Antike. Münzen und Medaillen, Basel, Swizerland. (7 # 3)

Stern, E. Marianne, and Birgit Schlick-Nolte
1994 Early Glass of the Ancient World 1600 BC - AD 50 Ernesto Wolf Collection. Gerd Hatje, Ostfildern, Germany.

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