Rare Blue Roman Glass Pyxis 1st century CE

£1,250.00 $1,585.38 Product Code: 2023120702

Technical Description 

A rare ancient Roman glass pyxis produced sometime between the years 1 - 100 AD. The glass material is of a translucent deep cobalt-blue hue and has some bubbles ranging from a pinprick to 1mm. Free-blown and tooled to form a concave cylindrical body with an everted lip and vertical rim. The foot has been applied separately as a ring and pressed into the flattened base which has a slightly kicked centre.

 

Cobalt-blue Roman glass is relatively rare, this is one of only two recorded vessels in this form that we could uncover. Only a few examples of either cast or moulded blue pyxides have been recovered, these are of differing forms. Rich colors were a dominant feature in glassmaking until the end of the first century A.D. when colorless glass became more fashionable.

Date & Origin 

Roman, Early Imperial Period, 1st century CE. Eastern Mediterranean.

Condition

Natural pitting, weathering and small patches of iridescence to the surface. An extensive professional fragmentary restoration has been carried out.

Dimensions

Height: 6.8 cm
Diameter: 11 cm

Historical Context

A pyxis (plural pyxides) is a shape of vessel from the classical world, usually a cylindrical box or jar with a separate lid. Examples of this form have been excavated in Cyprus, from a tomb at Idalion in modern-day Dali.

 

Note that some pyxis forms can be categorised as inkwells, this is due to their much smaller size and distinct enclosed rim. As in this case here which is only 5.7cm x 6.3cm: https://www.metmuseum.org/art/collection/search/245722

Documented Examples

The Israel Museum, Jerusalem: https://www.imj.org.il/en/collections/445246-0

Stanford Libraries: https://exhibits.stanford.edu/medieval/catalog/112-4384

MET Museum: https://www.metmuseum.org/art/collection/search/239864

 

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