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 Juglet Pendant
An Ancient Roman glass pendant in the form of a miniature juglet. The juglet stands on a flat base, from which its small globular body raises and folds inwards at the shoulder. Above is cylindrical neck leading to a thick rim, a handle has been applied from the rim to the body. The piece is decorated around the centre with a zigzagging trail and beautiful iridescence covers the surface. Miniatures items such as these were often used as charms for necklaces, bracelets and earrings.
Provenance: Ex SM private collection, London, acquired by descent 1970-99.
Condition: Fine condition. Earthly encrustations along with beautiful iridescence to the surface.