07 February 2015

Old glass in the British Museum

This mosaic glass plate has fascinated me ever since I drew it in a sketchbook some 10 or 15 years ago, enjoying the contrast of spirals and solid areas. (The shadow is from an object on the shelf above.)

Another view - the light shining through shows up the patterning -
The bowl in front has gold sandwiched in between two layers of glass - think of the skill it took to make those bowls fit each other so closely -
The vessels are from a group of ten that were found in a tomb in southern Italy. They come from the eastern Mediterranean and were made about 225-200 BC, a time of new developments in glass making.

Another mosaic plate, one with slightly more patina -

Also in the case, this bowl of "network" or "lacework" mosaic glass -
It is formed of two spirally twisted threads of clear glass laid side by side, but wound in opposite directions, starting in the centre.

Information on Hellenistic glass is here, here, and elsewhere.

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