1st century B.C.-1st century A.D.; Roman, from the Eastern Mediterranean; Glass; height 4.9 cm (2 in.); Founders Society Purchase, Cleo and Lester Gruber Fund; 1990.270
The molded glass bowl is an example of the handsome luxury tableware available in early Roman Imperial times. The beauty of translucent glass was just beginning to be appreciated, and a wide variety of shapes in different colors was produced for affluent homeowners. This vessel, with its sharply defined ribs, was probably an imitation of similar, much more expensive bowls of gold and silver. The glass makers were experimenting in techniques and designs in the first stages of what was to become an enormous industry in mass-produced glass for domestic use throughout the Roman world.