Roman Glass

 Roman glass production developed from Hellenistic technical traditions, initially concentrating on the production of intensely coloured cast glass vessels.

Circus beaker found in Varpelev, Denmark. (c) Nationalmuseet

However during the 1st c. AD, the industry underwent rapid technical growth that saw the introduction of glass blowing and the dominance of colourless glasses. By the end of the 1st c. AD, large scale manufacturing resulted in the establishment of glass as a commonly available material in the Roman Empire, and one which also had technically very difficult specialized types of luxury glass.

Glass garland bowl, 1st c. BC. Metropolitan Museum of Arts.

Gold Glass

Gold glass is a luxury form of glass where a decorative design in gold leaf is fused between two layers of glass.

Detail of a gold glass medallion with a portrait of a family, from Alexandria, 3rd–4th c. AD. Museo di Santa Giulia, Brescia.

First found in Hellenistic Greece, it is especially characteristic of the Roman glass of the Roman Empire in the 3rd-4th c. AD.

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