Bottle with Crystal Cut Decoration

  • Eastern Mediterranean or Italy
  • Roman period, 1st century A.D.
Catalogue Entry

This bottle looks like it is a column of crystal. Blown and molded from colorless translucent glass, the bottle was shaped with cut work. Just beneath the mouth area a sharp angled cord was cut around the neck, and then after a brief hiatus slightly below, the cut surfaces begin. There are 12 cut lines that run from the right shoulder downward toward the lower left, and then another 12 cuts which run from the left shoulder to the lower right. These paired cuts form pyramid shaped cuts which protrude some 9mm from the surface of the bottle. Counting vertically from the neck to the base, there are 7 or 8 ranks of protrusions. The base has a round plate which is decorated with radiating cuts to form a floral shape. This kind of design was rarely seen in Roman period cut-glass, and this is a truly splendid work in which each of the pyramid cuts seems to capture and reflect the light.