Measurements: item A: 0.9 cm − height, 1.3 cm − width; item B: 1.1 cm − height, 1.4 cm − width; item C: 1.1 cm − height, 1.5 cm − width; item D: 1.2 cm − height, 2.5 cm − width; item E: 1 cm − height, 2.2 cm − width


Description: A selection of mosaic polychrome Roman glass beads of cylindrical and globular bodies, all pierced longitudinally for suspension and slightly flattened at the top and bottom. Each item consists of opaque black and polychrome glass with chevron shapes. The colours range from light blue and yellow to orange and red. The beads have a pulled trail decoration consisting of alternating bands of opaque glass. All suitable for modern wear. Price is per individual item. Please e-mail the letter of your preferential glass bead before ordering.


Immediately recognisable and brilliantly coloured, Roman mosaic glass appears in significant numbers in Roman sites in Italy in the late first century BC, when the manufacturing process came to Italy with Hellenistic craftsmen from the eastern Mediterranean. Alexandria led the production of moulded and cut glass until the early third century AD. Phoenician glass blowers maintained a high standard in blowing techniques throughout the Roman period. Their mould-blown pieces from the first to third centuries AD have remarkable decorations and beautiful colours. The production technique was laborious and time-consuming. Polychrome canes of mosaic glass were created, and then stretched to shrink the patterns and cut across into smaller pieces. These pieces were placed together to form a flat circle, heated until they fused, and the disk was then put into a mould to give the object its shape.


Reference: The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Christie's sale 7659, lot 63.

Froehner, W., 1903, Collection Julien Gréau. Verrerie antique, émaillerie et poterie appartenant à M. John Pierpont Morgan, p. 133, pl. 168–9.4.


Period: 1st - 3rd century AD


Condition: All beads are in fine condition, with minor scratching and chipping to the tops and bottoms from suspension, and minor crazing to the surfaces.

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