Important Cultural PropertyGlass bowl

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  • Reportedly excavated from Ankanryo Tumulus, Habikino-city, Osaka Prefecture
  • 1 piece
  • Aperture D12.1x body D12.7x bottom D 3.8
  • Kofun period/6th century
  • Tokyo National Museum
  • J-36665

 It is said that this bowl was excavated when there was a landslide at the Ankanryo Tomb during the Edo period. This is a brownish transparent cut glass bowl, all over which a circle cut glass pattern is applied. Cut glass is a technique to create a pattern by carving a glass surface. This is a deep bowl and the bottom is 4 cm in diameter. On the outer surface, there are five layers of circles. At the layer closest to the bottom, the circles stick to each other, forming a hexagonal pattern. Since each cut glass circle forms a concave lens, if you look through one cut glass circle at another circle on the opposite side, you will find a mesh-like formation.
 A glass bowl similar to this one is included in the treasures of Shosoin, which suggests that glass vessels were articles of great value at that time.
It is believed that this glass bowl was created in the northern part of Iran during the Sassanian period and brought all the way to Japan via the Silk Road. This bowl is valuable as one of very few glass bowls of the Tumulus period.