“From this point on we must go back to the coast and to Phoenicia. There was formerly a town called Crocodilon, and there still is a river of that name…Then comes Cape Carmel…Next are Getta, Geba, and the river Pacida or Belus…Close to this river is Ptolemais…Next Tyre, once an island separated from the mainland by a very deep sea-channel 700 yards wide, but now joined to it by the works constructed by Alexander when besieging the place…but the entire renown of Tyre now consists in a shell-fish and a purple dye!…Next are Zarephath and the city of birds (Ornithon oppidum), and Sidon, the mother-city of Thebes in Boetia where glass is made. (Pliny, Natural History V.75-76, 77-79 A.D.”). Culture: EASTERN MEDITERRANEAN. Date: 1ST CENTURY AD. Origin: SIDON. Material: GLASS. Provenance: EX: AMERICAN PRIVATE COLLECTION. Condition: INTACT, SUPERB IRIDESCENCE ALL THROUGHOUT, WITH CUSTOM BASE STAND. Measurements: 3 INCHES HIGH, (7.6 cms). This amazing flask belongs to a very popular type of mold blown vessels that resembles a date fruit. The color of the glass is amber brown, made to imitate the color of the date fruit. Also, the mold was carefully crafted to look like the crumbled skin of a date. This flask type is usually available in virtually every major ancient glass collection.However, the weathering and iridescence on this one are superb and very rare this nice. Cf: For an almost identical example, see lot 185, Sotheby's New York Antiquities Auction, 14 June 2000, see also for another similar example, lot # 74, the Constable Maxwell collection of ancient glass, Sotheby Parke Bernet auction, 4/5 June, 1979. Also, see no. V-57, Reflection on Ancient Glass from the Borowski Collection. Also see, Toledo, Roman Mold Blown Glass, nos. 84 - 107. The author notes that Phoenicia during the 1st century AD "was famous not only for mold blown glass but for its date palms", and this may have "inspired glass workers in Phoenicia to blow vessels shaped like dates". Our vast inventory of ancient art includes one of the finest and most comprehensive ancient glass collections ever assembled; it includes nearly every variety of pre-Roman, Roman, and eastern Mediterranean ancient glass. If you have any specific inquiries, please let us know.