An exceptional Roman cup of dark green glass, which stands on a stemmed foot. This beautiful piece has slightly flaring sides and a thickened, round lip. The short-stemmed circular foot appears folded, while the base is concave with a small central hole. The beauty of the cup is enhanced by the thick patches of mother of pearl like iridescence contrasting with areas of darker accretions which give it a distinctive look. This drinking vessel would have been used by a wealthy member of society in ancient Roman times.
Date: Circa 2nd-3rd Century AD Condition: Very fine, and exceptional item.
Roman glass objects have been recovered from domestic, industrial and funerary contexts across the expansive Empire. As in the modern day, glassware in antiquity was considered an art form, with the best pieces valued higher than wares made from precious metals. The iridescence on ancient Roman glass was unintentional, and was caused by weathering on its surface. The extent to which a glass object weathers depends mainly on the burial conditions; however, the humidity, heat, and type of soil in which the glass was buried also all affect its preservation.
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