Artwork of the Week: June 12

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Roman (Eastern Mediterranean, Syria), Iridescent Bottle. Clear amber glass with blue-green neck, free-blown, 1st century CE. 13 5/8  x 4 in. Purchased with funds from the Libbey Endowment, Gift of Edward Drummond Libbey, 1967.4. Classic Court

Roman (Eastern Mediterranean, Syria), Iridescent Bottle. Clear amber glass with blue-green neck, free-blown, 1st century CE. 13 5/8 x 4 in. Purchased with funds from the Libbey Endowment, Gift of Edward Drummond Libbey, 1967.4. Classic Court

Core-formed and cast glass vessels had been made at least as early as the 15th century BCE in Egypt and Mesopotamia, but the revolutionary technique of glassblowing did not appear in the Roman Empire until the first century BCE. This skill was brought to the capital city of Rome from the Eastern Mediterranean (modern Syria), after the area was annexed by Rome in 64 BCE. Blown glass immediately became fashionable and the material of choice in every facet of daily life, from a lady’s dressing table to the dinner table. This example may have been used as a container for perfume.


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