About this artwork
Glass vessels were part of the luxurious domestic decoration displayed in wealthy households in both urban villas and rural estates in the later Roman and early Byzantine eras (about 300–725). Glass vessels were used for a variety of purposes, including cosmetic containers. In the kitchen and for dining, pitchers served water and wine, and small cups were used for drinking. Glass was also used for lamps to light the home.
Byzantine glassmakers refined the techniques they inherited from their Roman predecessors, creating objects with increasingly elaborate forms and complex decorative elements to flaunt their skills. Cosmetic containers were often adorned with fine strands (trails) of glass that required a steady hand and rapid execution, while other vessels look quite complex yet were easily made. Glass continued to be used in objects of personal adornment such as jewelry, both as a material in its own right and to imitate precious stones, offering more affordable options for what was in fashion.
- Currently Off View
- Arts of the Ancient Mediterranean and Byzantium
- 301 CE–500 CE
- Glass, blown technique
- 7.5 × 16.4 × 16.4 cm (3 × 6 1/2 × 6 1/2 in.)
- Gift of Theodore W. and Frances S. Robinson