gift of: Prof. Thurston Lacalli
date: c. 300-400 A.D.
provenance: purchased by donor in 1970-72.
description: Light green/yellow glass jug with handle and trefoil lip. Height 10 cm, diameter 5.5 cm.
During the second and third centuries AD, the novelty of owning glass disappeared as glassware became more affordable. Therefore, a number of table and storage wares became popular and abundant, including plates, dishes, bowls, beakers, cups, bottles, jars and jugs.
During the fourth century AD, the style of jars and jugs changed, taking on exceedingly long necks (although ours is somewhat moderate) and pronounced funnel or bowl-shaped rims, which can be seen in this example.
Decoration on these household items was usually limited to spiralling threads or random blobs, either in the same colour as the vessel or in contrasting royal blue or turquoise blue glass. This jug has the decorative style of “snake-thread” ware. The thread, in the same colour as the rest of the jug, spirals gracefully around the neck, ending in what appears to be the head of a snake.
(See also: Glass Unguentarium.)