Glass became very popular across the Roman Empire, especially after the discovery of glassblowing in which production rates rapidly increased to match the level of demand. Glassblowing not only allowed for a wider range of styles and shapes to be produced, but the translucency of the glass became more achievable. This method revolutionised glass production, thus changing the everyday trends, people became more favourable of glass cups rather than pottery ones. Two different trade businesses were involved with the manufacturing of glass, glassmakers and glassworkers. The glassmakers would melt down glass and when cooled, it would be broken into chunks and shipped to glassworkers. Once receiving the glass, the glassworkers would mould it into the desired vessel/object. The function of these objects varied in everyday life, smaller bottles such as unguentarias would hold essential oils and perfumes while larger vessel, like this jug, would be filled with drinking liquids and placed on tables. Glass vessels were also used for storage, merchants would pack different food products and goods in them and ship them overseas.
Roman Pale Blue Glass Dish
An Ancient Roman translucent blue glass dish. The shallow vessel is formed from a wide, flat base with gently sloping sides that leads to a splayed lip, which curves down slightly. The rim features applied decoration in vertical tooling, creating a wave of ridges and grooves on either side to form two small handles. The dish is further enriched by raised circles of glass under the rim and around the edge of the base. Small bubbles of trapped air from the blowing process add further interest to the glass. There is a round pontil mark left from the blowing process on the bottom of the dish.
Provenance: Ex Fortnum & Mason, 2000; ex JL Collection
Condition: Very fine condition, some scratches to base of vessel, and earthly encrustation across the surface.