Thursday, January 11, 2018

Rock Crystal Dish in the Form of a Temple

From Carthage, 3rd to 5th century CE. Now in the Met.

1 comment:

G. Verloren said...

Would have been nice to not have to click through for the dimensions, but ah well.

The photos are quite deceptive. I thought I was looking at something much larger than it actually is - somewhere around 12 inches tall, rather than the actual height of only 2 inches.

Of course, it makes sense that it's actually so small. Finding a 12 inch diameter hunk of quartz of such perfect clarity would be no easy task, but a piece 1/6th the scale is much more feasible. Moreover, carving out what must be more than half of such a gem to create the negative space in this piece would be a colossal waste with a large stone.

I am a bit curious about the rim of the bowl. Would this have had a matching lid at some point, do you suppose? Also, is there any clues as to what it may have been used for? Does it fit into an established category of similar objects, do you know?