Glass conical bowl

Period: Late Hellenistic

Date: mid-2nd–early 1st century B.C.

Culture: Greek, Eastern Mediterranean

Medium: Glass; cast and cut

Dimensions: H.: 2 15/16 x 4 in. (7.5 x 10.2 cm)

Classification: Glass

Credit Line: Gift of Henry G. Marquand, 1881

Accession Number: 81.10.243


This bowl was sagged as a flat disk of monochrome glass over a mold, and then rotary polished on the interior and cut with horizontal grooves for decoration. The shape and color are typical of Syro-Palestinian manufacture, and the type was part of a long tradition that continued until the mid-first century B.C. The form of the vessel and the linear decoration are reminiscent of Hellenistic silver, bronze, and pottery drinking cups. This type of conical glass bowl was very common and the wide range of find-spots is indicative of its extensive trade throughout the Mediterranean. The lack of handles or a stable bottom on these vessels suggests that they were not meant to be set down but, rather, held until their contents had been consumed. This type is also related to the Syro-Palestinian monochrome ribbed glass bowls (81.10.39) that became popular in the first century B.C., just as this conical type began to disappear. The shift from conical to ribbed types of glass bowls was part of a general trend that saw the increasing popularity of two-handled skyphoi and other flat-bottomed shapes that could stand on their own.