Bottle with Masks

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Object Name: 
Bottle with Masks
Accession Number: 
Overall H: 8 cm, Diam (max): 3.7 cm
On Display
Primary Description: 
White opaque glass; mold-blown (bottom of neck and body blown in mold with three vertical parts). Bottle with six sides. Rim is irregular flange made by folding out, up, and in; neck cylindrical, with slight crimp at bottom; shoulder rounded, with overhang; wall vertical, except at bottom where it juts out, then curves down and in; base flat; no pontil mark. Decoration in prominent, but indistinct relief on shoulder and wall. On shoulder: six indeterminate bulbous motifs, one above each vertical rib on wall. On vertical part of wall: six rectangular panels separated by vertical ribs, each containing mask (clockwise): (1) Medusa, with wings projecting from top of head; (2) old man, apparently bald, with long pointed beard; (3) youth, with thick head of hair and mouth half open; (4) Pan or paniskos, with horns and forked beard; (5) man with medium-length beard; (6) man or woman with short hair that curls up at ears. On bottom of wall: continuous band of six pointed leaves alternating with six rounded leaves. Mold seams, which are very indistinct, extend from bottom of neck, down wall between panels 2 and 3, 4 and 5, and 6 and 1, and meet at center of underside of base.
Safani, Esteban, Source
Metropolitan Museum of Art 2014-12-09 through 2015-04-13
Corning Museum of Glass 2015-05-16 through 2016-01-04
At the end of the first century B.C., glassmakers working in the environs of Jerusalem made a revolutionary breakthrough in the way glass was made. They discovered that glass could be inflated at the end of a hollow tube. This technical achievement—glassblowing—made the production of glass vessels much quicker and easier, and allowed glassmakers to develop new shapes and decorative techniques. One technique, inflating glass in molds carved with decorative and figural designs, was used to create multiple examples of a variety of vessel shapes with high-relief patterns. The molds used to shape this ancient glass were complex in their design, and the mold-blown glass vessels of ancient Rome tell a wealth of stories about the ancient world, from gladiators to perfume vessels, from portraits of a Roman empress to oil containers marked with the image of Mercury, Roman god of trade. Among the earliest workshops to design and create mold-blown glass was one in which a man named Ennion worked. Ennion was the first glassmaker to sign his glass objects by incorporating his name into the inscriptions that formed part of the mold’s design, and thus he stands among a small group of glass workers whose names have come down to us from antiquity. On view through January, 4, 2016, Ennion and His Legacy, is composed of mold-blown master works by Ennion and other Roman glassmakers. The works are drawn from the Corning Museum’s collection of Roman glass, one of the finest in the world. Within the larger exhibit is a smaller exhibit organized by The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Ennion: Master of Roman Glass, which focuses specifically on works made by Ennion. Composed of loans from a number of international institutions and private collections this exhibit within an exhibit brings together many of the known examples of Ennion’s wares and will be on view through October 19, 2015.
Roman Glass in The Corning Museum of Glass, Volume Two (2001) illustrated, pp. 38-39, pl. 508; BIB# 58895