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“A ship, laden with nitre, being moored upon this spot, the merchants, while preparing their repast [employed] some lumps of nitre which they had taken from the vessel. Upon its being subjected to the action of the fire, in combination with the sand of the sea-shore, they beheld transparent streams flowing forth of a liquid hitherto unknown: this … was the origin of glass.”

Pliny the Elder (AD 23-24-79), Natural History, XXXVI.65
Migration period glass vessel
£17,000
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“A ship, laden with nitre, being moored upon this spot, the merchants, while preparing their repast [employed] some lumps of nitre which they had taken from the vessel. Upon its being subjected to the action of the fire, in combination with the sand of the sea-shore, they beheld transparent streams flowing forth of a liquid hitherto unknown: this … was the origin of glass.”

Pliny the Elder (AD 23-24-79), Natural History, XXXVI.65
Migration period glass vessel
£17,000
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Migration period glass vessel

Circa AD 450

This beautiful Anglo-Saxon or Frankish glass vessel was free-blown in a pale green glass and twisted to create shimmering swirls throughout the body.

The Migration Period was a time of turmoil. It saw the decline of the Roman Empire in the West, as well as the migration westward of many Germanic and Eurasian tribes, beginning with the invasion of Europe by the Huns in AD 375 and ending with the Lombards’s conquest of Italy in AD 568. Fortunately, the tradition of Roman glass making was perpetuated by the Empire’s newly arrived inhabitants. Despite its fragility, this ancient vessel has survived the unsteady times of its creation in an almost perfectly intact condition.

Diameter: 6 1/4 inches (15.9 cm)

Height: 5 1/4 inches (13.3 cm)

Provenance:

French private collection, acquired in the early 20th century.

£17,000

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