Mosaic glass bowl
Period: 1st century B.C.-1st century A.D.
Dimensions: Height: 3.8 cm, length: 16 cm
Ex European private collection.
Excellent state of preservation. Completely intact. Few areas of white color are affected by iridescence.
This bowl presents an extraordinary decoration and is a very rare, completely preserved example of Roman mosaic glass. The glass-making technique in antiquity originated in
While this type of mosaic ribbed glass bowl was known in
The color palette of this bowl is only cobalt and white, although the combination of more subtle or intense shades of cobalt with intricate patterns in the white creates a striking decorative effect. The white volutes form spiral designs that are arranged in circles all around the surface, from the rim to the bottom of the bowl. Handling an item of mosaic glass, along with direct observation, is important to appreciate all its decorative qualities, and there is even more to discover in the present bowl: some areas become translucent when light shines through the vessel’s walls.
On the technique of mosaic glass, see:
ANTONARAS A., Fire and Sand: Ancient Glass in the
EISEN G.A., Glass,
OLIVER A., Millefiori Glass in Classical Antiquity, in Journal of Glass Studies, 10, 1968, pp. 48-70.
On other examples of mosaic glass bowls, see:
BERETTA M. and DI PASQUALE G., Vitrum: Il vetro fra arte e scienza nel mondo romano, Florence, 2004, p. 207, no. 1.22.
GOLDSTEIN S.M., Pre-Roman and Early Roman Glass in the
GROSE D.F., Early Ancient Glass,
KUNINA N., Ancient Glass in the Hermitage Collection,