Artist unknown / Syrian jug / 4th CenturyArtist unknown
Syrian jug
4th Century

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Creator Name: Unknown
Creator Nationality: Asian; Middle Eastern; Syrian
Creator Role: Artist
Creator Name-CRT: Artist unknown
Title: Syrian jug
View: front
Creation Start Date: 300
Creation End Date: 399
Creation Date: 4th Century
Object Type: Decorative Arts and Utilitarian Objects
Materials and Techniques: glass
Dimensions: H.14-1/8 x W.6-3/4 x D.4-13/16 in.
AMICA Contributor: The Minneapolis Institute of Arts
Owner Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA
ID Number: 98.128
Credit Line: Gift of Ruth and Bruce Dayton

This Syrian jug, produced during the decline of the Roman empire, is similar in form to the silver jugs produced at the same time. It may have been used for serving wine or some other beverage. It has a "celery" handle, named for the vertical ribbed decoration.

The noticeable weathering (devitrification) on the interior was caused when moisture and acids came into contact with the vessel and, over time, caused a chemical decomposition. This chemical breakdown often results in a color change and peeling away of layers of glass from the undamaged layers underneath. The iridescent appearance is a further result of the decomposition process and was never intended by the ancient glassmaker.

Using a technique which was developed in the mid-first century B.C., ancient free-blown vessels were produced by inflating molten glass through a long rod or blowpipe. Once the vessel was inflated, it was transferred to a pontil rod and shaped with pincers. Before the vessel was removed from the rod, feet and handles were added and the vessel was decorated.

Syria was one of the most prolific areas of glass production between the second and fourth centuries A.D. The market for Syrian glass was strong, and examples such as this jug were widely exported throughout the Roman empire.

AMICA ID: MIA_.98.128
Measurement Unit: in
AMICA Library Year: 2001
Media Metadata Rights: ?The Minneapolis Institute of Arts

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