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From etched to glazed and from circular to quatrefoil, antique glass bowls reflect both the evolution and the immense amount of innovation in the field of glassmaking over the course of history. The glass bowl has been in use for millennia, reinforcing its role as a central antique collectible.
The glass bowl was developed shortly after the discovery of glass itself, which occurred around the 16th century B.C. among the cultures of ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia. As the versatility and brilliance of the medium was realized, glass was used in an increasing range of applications, including the creation of bowls.
Earliest glass bowls were relatively rudimentary. As skill advanced, however, over subsequent generations, the glass bowl became increasingly elaborate. From "brilliant" cut glass forms of the late 1800s to the lustrous finishes of pieces by L.C Tiffany and Loetz, the glass bowl became equally an art object as a functional form.
One of famed American author F. Scott Fitzgerald's short stories was titled "The Cut-Glass Bowl," originally published in the early 1920s
A vessel in Qinhuangdao, China currently holds the world record for the largest glass bowl. Created in 2013, it bears a diameter of approximately 40 inches and a height of over 35 inches
One of the highest sales prices for a glass bowl goes to a Roman vessel from the 1st century A.D. Less than 4 inches in diameter, this bowl sold at Christie's New York for $75,000 in 2015