Glass cameo fragment of a large platter or tabletop

Period: Early Imperial, Julio-Claudian

Date: 1st half of 1st century A.D.

Culture: Roman

Medium: Glass; cast, applied, and carved

Dimensions: Overall: 9 1/2 x 20 3/4in. (24.1 x 52.7cm)

Classification: Glass

Credit Line: Gift of Henry G. Marquand, 1881

Accession Number: 81.10.347


Over a background of deep purple (representing Homer's "wine-dark sea"), patches of opaque white glass have been added and then carved to represent various sea creatures. The fragment is said to have been found on the island of Capri (in the Bay of Naples, Italy), near the imperial villa where the Emperor Tiberius lived in seclusion between A.D. 27 and 37.