Romano-Egyptian Glass Bead


A Romano-Egyptian round fused glass bead, pierced longitudinally for suspension. The green body of the bead is adorned with a central band of deep blue with a repeated geometric motif pattern including red, blue, and yellow rays and curves projecting from a central yellow circle. Some scratches and chips to the surface.

Date: Circa 1st century BC-1st century AD
Provenance: Ex S.M. London collection, 1970-2000s by descent
Condition: Good condition, pitting and chipping to the paint

In stock

Jewellery was highly important throughout all of Ancient Egyptian history, worn across social classes, and by both women and men. Bright colours and patterns were exceedingly popular, as were bold, large pieces. Beaded necklaces were especially common. These necklaces were often made from beads of all different colours, sizes, and materials, arranged artfully to create an eye-catching piece. The annexation of Egypt into the Roman Empire in Late Antiquity in no way dampened the Egyptians enthusiasm for self-adornment. The Romano-Egyptian period saw great changes in Egyptian art and culture, with more and more Egyptians taking inspiration from the empire’s capital. Glass beads were incredibly popular in Rome, made with a variety of coloured glasses, and even using different styles to trick the eye into mistaking the glass for gemstones. Glassmakers in Rome were said to be absolute masters of their craft, and their work and styles spread throughout the Empire. Egyptians took inspiration from Rome, and infused the capital’s styles with their bold colours and bright patterns, creating mesmerising pieces.

To learn more, check out our blog post about ancient glass

Weight 2.5 g
Dimensions L 1.4 x W 1.2 cm




Reference: For a similar item, please see The Metropolitan Museum of Art, accession number 1982.97.13

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