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Home > Catalog > |Antiquities| > |Antiquities by Material| > |Glass Antiquities| > AG20812
Roman, Eastern Mediterranean, Small Glass Bowl, c. Mid 1st - 3rd Century A.D.
In his Satyricon, the satirist Petroniusí tells the story of a Roman glass-maker who invented flexible glass and was granted an audience with the Roman emperor Tiberius. After Tiberius examined a glass cup, he handed it back to the glass-maker, who threw it to the floor. The emperor was shocked, but the cup did not shatter and was only dented. The glass-maker beat the glass with a little hammer, and in no time, the cup regained its original shape. Tiberius asked if anybody else knew how to make this flexible glass, to which the glass-maker replied, no. The glass maker was expecting a reward for his invention, but instead, Tiberius had him executed, thus taking the secret of making flexible glass with him to his grave. Tiberius executed the glass-maker because he was afraid flexible glass would cause gold to be devalued. Believe it or not, Pliny tells this same story in his, Natural History!
AG20812. cf. Harter A17, Isings 18, Newark Museum 101, Bomford 98, Choice, intact, areas of weathering and iridescence, very tiny chips in the edge, small glass bowl, mold pressed thin pale green transparent glass; 13.8 cm (4 3/8") diameter, 3.9 cm (1 1/2") high; spherical shell, curving outward toward edge, rolled up and in lip with ground edge, bottom slightly concave, ornamented with light wheel-incised horizontal bands on exterior; from the collection of Alex G. Malloy, former dealer in antiquities for 40 years; SOLD

Catalog current as of Wednesday, January 22, 2020.
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