Glass jug (oinochoe)


British Museum

British Museum

This blue glass oinochoe (jug) is a typical product of Etruscan glassmakers who seem to have been inspired by the Mesopotamian industry. It seems that a minor glass industry was established in central Italy (Etruria) in the later seventh and sixth centuries BC that may have began with direct contact with Mesopotamia. When products from the Mediterranean core-formed glass industry flooded the Etruscan markets in the later sixth and fifth centuries BC, it seems that migrant Italian glassworkers moved northwards to the area of the Alps and sites on the Adriatic coast, where they made brooch runners of blue green and brown glass decorated with spikes drawn out from the walls. Although this Etruscan perfume flask was formed around a core it is unlike the Mediterranean oinochoe series, which has trail decoration; like the runners threaded on bows of brooches this jug is decorated with spikes drawn out from the wall of the vessel. Besides jugs, the Etruscan glassmakers produced other perfume flasks decorated with spikes in blue, brown or yellow glass. Rod-formed beads, brooches and bracelets were also produced, but these were decorated with the more usual coloured trails.

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  • Title: Glass jug (oinochoe)
  • Date Created: -675/-650
  • Physical Dimensions: Height: 7.00cm; Diameter: 3.70cm (max)
  • External Link: British Museum collection online
  • Technique: core-formed; tooled
  • Registration number: 1848,0803.69
  • Production place: Made in Etruria
  • Period/culture: Etruscan
  • Material: glass
  • Copyright: Photo: © Trustees of the British Museum
  • Acquisition: Purchased from Newman. Purchased through Sotheby's. Purchased through Cureton, Harry Osborn


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