Ancient glass.


Ancient glassware


Why does ancient art look more and more interesting as time goes on? Is it just the effect of looking at too many contemporary design blogs, where nearly every object is acquirable? (That is, if you had the money.) I’m not sure why, but an image search for “ancient glass” is some kind of antidote to stress for us lately. The glassware above was excavated at Pompeii and is from the BBC site. Apparently glass first appeared in the middle of the 3rd millennium BC and is thought to have come from Syria or north Mesopotamia. The technology spread to Egypt and then later to Greece and Rome and beyond. The odd glasses below are from medieval europe; they probably once had either stems or stands. The cobalt blue bowl is from the 2nd or 1st C BC in the Eastern Mediterranean, and the opaque glass jug at bottom is from the same area, 2nd C AD.


 Medieval European glasses


Cobalt blue glass bowl, Eastern Mediterranean in 2nd - 1st C BC


Roman Glass Jug, 2nd C AD

3 Responses to “Ancient glass.”

  1. Allaire Says:

    These two “odd” beakers were made during the Merovingian period (5th-7th c. AD) in Europe. The forms you see are the same as when made. They did not have stems, designed so the drinker must empty the contents of the vessel completely before putting it down.

    This shape is referred to as a bell beaker and often had thin glass trails around the upper flared rim as shown in these two examples.

  2. Allaire Says:

    To answer your questions. We do not know exactly what they were drinking, most probably wine or beer. The trails you see are only for decoration and do not add strength. They are very thin trails, to our knowledge no stands were used. It was common for the drinker to consume the entire contents at once. Most of the trails used in the glass making of the Merovingian period where of opaque white. Occasionally they were the same color as the vessel. Any other questions about glass of this period?

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