Glass: Shiny, hard, fragile - shattering in an
surviving for thousands of years-a rigid liquid
that is worked in a molten
state- too hot to touch, but often made by hand-
molded, blown, cut, engraved,
enameled, or painted. Of the craftsman, it
demands the ultimate in steady
nerves, skill, control, judgment, and
-Zerwick, Chloe. A
Short History of Glass.
Glass, a material
developed in the eastern Mediterranean region,
largely came to Rome with its
makers, Syrian and Judean craftsmen, many of
who were slaves.
Between the mid-first century B.C. and
the early seventh century A.D.,
Roman glassmaking was influenced not only by
the changing values and tastes of
the Roman world, but also by historical events.
Many new techniques of
glassmaking were introduced along the way.
Each glass vessel, in its shape and
decoration, is therefore a record of the times in
which it was made.
This stunning vessel is a marvel of ancient
sophistication and appreciation of beauty. It is
doubtful that such a splendid bottle would be
forged by modern craftsmen. Unfortunately,
efficiency and multiplicity dominate most craft
industries today. We have sacrificed beauty and
individuality in order to achieve quickness and
mass-production. However, this vessel is a
reminder of other times, where beauty and skill
were prized over all other qualities. When one
considers the time involved in gathering and
producing the oils or perfumes that once filled
bottle, we begin to discover the splendor of
ancient times and the wonder of individual hand-
craftsmanship. Today we value affordability and
durability over artistry; this vessel would still be
treasured and unique if it was just blown.
However, the fact that this gorgeous bottle
represents the glories of antiquity and Ancient
Rome makes it that much more magnificent.