As in many ancient societies, jewellery was an important social marker used to demonstrate wealth. Following the spread of the Roman Empire, Roman jewellery became more and more elaborate in the designs and in the materials used. By the 1st century AD, the technique of glass-blowing had revolutionised the art of glass-making, allowing the quantity of production to be increased, whilst its price be reduced. It also allowed for new flexibility and artistic freedom, with glass now becoming a decorative luxury to rival pottery. It was this novel mass production of the material in imperial Rome that prompted the development of glass jewellery, though its valuable properties today derive in large part from the ageing process.
Miniature Ancient Roman Glass Amphora Pendant
An Ancient Roman pale cream glass pendant in the form of a miniature amphora. The vessel features a piriform body tapering to a pointed base, which is now chipped due to age. The shoulder’s of the body lead to a short cylindrical neck and a thick rim. Two loop handles have been applied to the neck, between the rim to the body. Miniature items, such as this fine example, were often used as charms for necklaces, bracelets and earrings.
Provenance: Ex S.M private collection, London, acquired by descent 1970-99.
Condition: Fine condition. Chips to the base and below one handle. Beautiful iridescence along with encrustation to the surface.