Roman Faceted Blue Glass Necklace

£ 850.00

A restrung ancient Roman necklace composed of small glass faceted beads in a deep blue shade. Each bead is unique in shape, lustre and speckling, creating a mosaic like impression. At the centre, interspersed between the blue beads are four cylindrical gold beads, exhibiting granulation around the edges. Two rich turquoise translucent beads in the shape of a prism, drawing attention to the centre and enriching the piece. Such necklaces testify to the popularity of glass ornaments across the Roman Empire. The necklace is finished with a modern gold-plated S-shaped clasp.

Half Length: 28 cm

Date: 1st - 3rd Century AD
Provenance: Ex SM collection, Israel, acquired 1970-1999
Condition: Fine condition, necklace has been restrung.


Product Code: RES-214
Category: Tags: , , ,

The mass production of glass in Ancient Rome prompted the development of glass jewellery. Core-formed and cast-vessels were first produced in Egypt and Mesopotamia, but only started being imported around 500 BC. However, the Roman Glass industry developed to full maturity during the first half of the first century. This was likely due to Rome’s emergence as a political and economic strength in the Mediterranean world which attracted skills artisans to the city, but also coincided with the invention of glassblowing.

The ancient Romans considered jewellery to be an essential accessory, for it provided a public display of their wealth. Roman jewellery at first followed trends set by the Etruscans, using gold and glass beads, but as the power and spread of the Roman Empire increased, jewellery designs became increasingly elaborate. Different cultural styles from Greece, Egypt, North Africa, and the Orient were all incorporated to reflect Rome’s prosperity as a dominant, conquering city. Archaeological finds of Roman jewellery are relatively rare, considering the magnitude of Roman civilisation and the historical and geographical span of the Empire.

The ageing process of glass endows Roman glass jewellery with unique qualities. For instance, contaminants manufactured into the glass, exposed to the surrounding environment over thousands of years, result in beautiful lustres and speckling, where the glass might formerly have been transparent.

Weight 17.9 g
Dimensions L 55.5 cm





Southern Europe

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