From the early centuries AD glass became the favourite medium not only for vessels but also for pieces of jewellery. Glass would have been cast, blown and drawn and tolled to create elaborate or simple bangles, rings and pendants. The Romans were frequently in contact with many different cultures and ethnic groups, and this contact would have found expression in the decorative arts. Many jewellery pieces, including glass pendants, statuettes and glass vases have been recovered bearing African features.
Romano-Egyptian Glass ‘Blackamoor’ Head Pendant
A fine example of an Ancient Roman glass pendant moulded in dark purple glass in the shape of a male head, and featuring a suspension loop to the top, now partially damaged. The piece has been moulded in a two-part mould with a continuous seam running along down the sides of the head and the neck. The head, which displays typically African facial features, has been naturalistically rendered, with much attention given to the rendering of the hair, eyebrows and eyes. The head would have been used as a pendant in Antiquity, usually enriching gold hoop earrings. Glass pendants of this type have been hypothetically linked to an Egyptian production.
Provenance: Ex Abelita family collection, 1970s-2000s.
Condition: A Fine and beautiful example. Suspension loop partially damaged.