Glass garland bowl

Period: Early Imperial, Augustan

Date: late 1st century B.C.

Culture: Roman

Medium: Glass; cast and cut

Dimensions: H. 1 1/2 in. (3.8 cm), diameter 7 1/8 in. (18.1 cm)

Classification: Glass

Credit Line: Edward C. Moore Collection, Bequest of Edward C. Moore, 1891

Accession Number: 91.1.1402


This bowl was cast using batches of different colored glass to create four roughly equal sections in translucent purple, yellow, blue, and colorless glass. On the interior is a lathe-cut groove just below the rim. The principal decoration comprises four hanging garlands of millefiori glass (59.11.6) fused to the upper surface of each quadrant. Few vessels made of large sections or bands of differently colored glass are known from antiquity, and this example is the only one that combines the technique with fused-on decoration. The bowl thus represents a masterpiece of glassmaking from the period when cast glass was beginning to be supplanted by vessels made using the newly invented technique of glassblowing.