Glass oinochoe (jug)

Period: Early Imperial, Augustan or Julio-Claudian

Date: late 1st century B.C.–early 1st century A.D.

Culture: Roman

Medium: Glass; cast, tooled, and cut

Dimensions: H. 7 1/8 in. (18.1 cm); diameter 3 3/8 in. (8.6 cm)

Classification: Glass

Credit Line: Gift of J. Pierpont Morgan, 1917

Accession Number: 17.194.170


This elegant jug, whose shape imitates that of a metal vessel, shows how quickly the newly founded Roman glass industry mastered its medium. It represents a transitional phase in glassmaking, when casting and cutting, and blowing techniques were used. The jug's handle was cold-carved and the base was cut on a lathe, but the body seems to have been blown. A similar combination of techniques is found on some examples of early Roman cameo glass, notably the British Museum’s Portland Vase.