Four monochrome bowls

Period: Early Imperial

Date: early 1st century A.D.

Culture: Roman, Syrian

Medium: glass; cast

Dimensions: 13.198.1: H.: 1 5/8 in. (4.1 cm), Diam.: 3 1/8 in. (8 cm)
13.198.2: H.: 1 3/8 in. (3.5 cm), Diam.: 2 13/16 in. (7.1 cm)
13.198.3: H.: 1 3/16 in. (3 cm), Diam.: 2 11/16 in. (6.8 cm)
1978.118.185: H.: 1 5/8 in. (4.1 cm)

Classification: Glass

Credit Line: Rogers Fund, 1913

Accession Number: 13.198.1–.3, 1972.118.185


These four bowls represent a type of early imperial glassware that found particular favor with the Roman elite in the early first century A.D. Their shape is reminiscent of metal and pottery forms also popular at the time, and their characteristically angular profiles were fashioned on a lathe. Although vessels of this shape are also found in mosaic glass, these opaque examples are closely related to monochrome bowls in translucent glass (17.194.155; 91.1.1238; 81.10.128; 29.100.84), which enjoyed a longer popularity and continued to be produced well into the late first century A.D. The simple elegance of the monochrome design foreshadows the Roman preference for translucent, and eventually colorless, wares in the first and second centuries.