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Mold-blown bottle with ribbed handle and rolled rim


Roman, Square mold-blown bottle
Photo Credit: 


Not On View
Mold-blown bottle with ribbed handle and rolled rim, 3rd century CE
Mold-blown glass
Overall: 6 11/16 in x 5 in x 4 15/16 in; 17 cm x 12.7 cm x 12.5 cm
Purchase with the Belle and Hy Baier Art Acquisition Fund; gift of Anne Gay Chaffee Hartman (Class of 1955) and Barbara Adams (Class of 1981), by exchange; and bequest of Mary Ryan Orwen (Class of 1935), by exchange
MH 2006.23.1

Glass containers have been used for millennia to hold beverages, oils, perfumes, and more. The transparency of glass allows for better visibility of a vessel’s contents, but glass is also more breakable than other materials. The key to transporting fragile glass is how it is packed. When placing multiple glass containers in a wooden crate or case for shipping or travel, the practicality of a rectangular form is obvious. These two bottles (displayed with SK 2006.645.INV) were hand blown using rigid molds to form the straight walls. It is a design that works—from the 3rd century to the 18th, these “case bottles” were widely produced.

-Aaron Miller, Associate Curator of Visual and Material Culture, Mount Holyoke College Art Museum (Jan. 2017)