TITLE: Core-Formed Amphoriskos
CULTURE: Eastern Mediterranean, Greek
PERIOD: c. 6th – 5th century BC
DIMENSIONS: Height 6,5 cm.
PRICE: 1,400 euros
PROVENANCE: Private collection of the jeweler, Octavio Sardà, Barcelona. Formed between 1968 and 1979.
CONDITION: Reassembled from its original fragments without missing pieces.
Translucent dark blue ground with opaque yellow and turquoise-blue decoration, Broad, inward-sloping rim-disk; cylindrical neck, tapering upward¸ obtuse-angle shoulder. Ovoid body; circular dark blue base-knob with a marvered opaque turquoise-blue thread and rounded edge. Two dark blue vertical strap handles affixed to the shoulder and attached to the top of the neck. An unmarvered opaque turquoise-blue thread attached at the edge of the rim-disk; an opaque yellow thread, marvered, begun on the shoulder and wound spirally, at first in a few wavy horizontal lines, then tooled opaque yellow and a third opaque turquoise-blue thread, also marvered, is added, mingling with the yellow thread. Below this, another opaque yellow and a third opaque turquoise-blue thread, both marvered, are wound horizontally around the body.
Core-forming is the manufacturing technique devised to make glass vessels. It remained the most common method of making small bottles and other glass containers for over fifteen hundred years, until the late Hellenistic period. In this procedure, a removable core of material – probably a combination of clay, mud or sand and an organic binder – is built up around a metal rod the shape of the hollow of the desired vessel. The core is then covered in some fashion with hot glass, and threads of glass are trailed over the core as it is rotated. Next, the vessel is repeatedly reheated and marvered on a flat stone slab. Decoration in the form of threads or blods may then added and pressed into the surface by marvering, usually after being combed or dragged by a bronze pin or hook into feather, festoon, upright festoon or zigzag patterns. Unless repeatedly reheated and marvered, vertical indentations caused by the tooling of the threads can be remain on the body. The metal rod is then removed and the vessel annealed. Afterwards, the core is scraped out, leaving a rough, often grey or reddish interior surface. Rim-disk, handle, pad-base and base-knob are applied separately after further reheating. One they have been added, it is difficult, or almost impossible, to further marver the vessel, and any additional threads applied to the rim, rim-disk, or base are left unmarvered or only partly marvered.