Bottle with Plant Design

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

This bottle was blown from bluish semi-transparent glass and then formed in a 3-part mold. Its base was formed from a separate mold. The mouth rises vertically and a handle stretches from shoulder to mouth. The shoulder and hips of the bottle are decorated with a relief pattern of chrysanthemum-like flowers, with right-left symmetrically arranged branches set in relief on the body. The small branches on one face have three leaves each, the branches on another face have peaked bud and round bud, and the branches on the remaining face have platanus leaves. The interior of the foot has a double-layer of circular relief design. The regular shape of this form shows how the mold edges were evenly matched and overall the production of the work was carefully handled. The blue and silver iridescence is lovely. This bottle was probably used to hold perfumed oil.

After the discovery of mold-blown techniques during the Roman era, glass vessels were created and signed by individual makers, such as Ennion, and their superb works were appreciated by the buying public. This work may have been such a production.