A pale green blown vessel with a squat bulbous body, a rounded base, a tall tapering cylindrical neck with a wide spreading mouth and an inwardly folded rim. There is a tapering feeding spout to one side of body.
Such glasses, which were common throughout the eastern Mediterranean region, are often called a "baby feeder", although they have also been described as a guttus, an askos, an oil flask, a blow-pipe or, generally, as a pourer flask (for an overview with further literature see Weinberg, p. 132; Lightfoot, p. 161). Many of them are a more or less bird-shaped, but other forms are known as well.
Their use remains uncertain, but the fragility of the material makes it unlikely that they were used in baths or at public functions such as sacrifices. Similarly it is hard to imagine that an infant could be fed from such a vessel, unless it was used to administer medicine (Weinberg, p. 132; Caron and Zoitopoúlou, 2008, p. 92-93, no. 82; Lightfoot, p. 161), Many consider them flasks for pouring oil into the filling holes of terracotta lamps.
Literature and parallels:
Anastassios Antonaras, Fire and Sand. Ancient Glass in the Princeton University Art Museum (Princeton, N.J., Princeton University Art Museum, 2012), no. 235;
Beaudoin Caron - Eléni P. Zoitopoúlou, Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, Collection of Mediterranean Antiquities, Vol. 1, The Ancient Glass. Musée des beaux-arts de Montréal, La collection des antiquités méditerranéennes, Vol. 1, La verrerie antique (Monumenta Graeca et Romana) (Leiden and Boston, E.J. Brill Publishers, 2008), p. 92-93, no. 82;
Christopher S. Lightfoot, The Cesnola Collection of Cypriot Art - Ancient Glass (New York, Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2017), p. 160-162 (nos. 182-185);
Gladys Davidson Weinberg, "Evidence for Glass Manufacture in Ancient Thessaly", American Journal of Archaeology Vol. 66, No. 2 (Apr., 1962), p. 129-133 and pls. 25-28.
Circa 2nd century C.E.
Height 11 cm.
Dutch private collection, acquired from Greg Manning Galleries, 15 February 1997, no. 207; previously US private collection.
Minor damage to the tip of the spout, as shown.