The Temporary Exhibition of the Mechanism and the Antikythera shipwreck...>>

Mosaic bowl

Material: Glass
Dimensions: H. 0.048 m. D. of rim 0.089 m. D. of base 0.056 m.
Provenance: Antikythera shipwreck. From the material retrieved in 1900-1901
Date: Second quarter of the 1st c. BC
Exhibition place: Room 63, Case 5, inv. no: 23718

The rim is finished with an added twisted coil of colorless, yellow, and white glass. Mosaic pattern formed from cane sections of purple with white spirals having blue centers within yellow circles. Randomly inserted among them are irregularly shaped tesserae of opaque white. Applied conical base-ring made of blue glass mixed with yellow and white trails.

Production place: It is difficult to determine the production locale of mosaic and network mosaic vessels, which have been found through the entire eastern Mediterranean, though it is probable they originated in Egypt, more specifically in Alexandrian workshops, in the late 3rd c. BC.

Production technique: According to recent research, there were two phases in the manufacturing process of mosaic bowls: initially, the cane sections, i.e. the transverse parts of one or more composite mosaic canes, were assembled and melted together in the kiln at a high temperature until a disk-shaped blank was formed. Frequently, monochrome pieces of glass or even sections of glass trails were melted down with these. This "disk" was then placed over a convex former mold of the desired vessel shape, and went back into the kiln. Upon the heating of the disk-shaped blank, the glass sagged under its own weight, covering the mold and assuming its shape. The twisted trail that formed the rim was placed either around the disk during the first phase, i.e. that of the preparatory gathering of elements, or directly on the maximum diameter of the mold.

Βibliography: Τα ευρήματα του ναυαγίου των Αντικυθήρων, ΑΕ 1902, 168-167, inserted plate πίν. Η,30. G.D. Weinberg, The Glass Vessels from the Antikythera Wreck, TAPhS 55.3 (1965), 34, 37 no. 7, fig. 15-16. G.D. Weinberg - M.C. McClellan, Glass Vessels in Ancient Greece. Their History Illustrated from the Collection of the National Archaeological Museum, Athens, Athens 1992, 108 no. 69. E.M. Stern - B. Schlick-Nolte, Early Glass of the Ancient World, 1600 B.C. - A.D. 50. Ernesto Wolf Collection, Ostfildern 1994, 299. Ν. Kaltsas (ed.), The Shipwreck off Antikythera, Catalogue of the Exhibition, National Archaeological Museum, Athens 2012 [Ch. Avronidaki, in print].

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Position in the museum