Beaker with Faceted Decoration

Object Name: 
Beaker with Faceted Decoration

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Object Name: 
Beaker with Faceted Decoration
Accession Number: 
Overall H: 14.8 cm; Rim Diam: 7.9 cm
On Display
Web Description: 
Roman glassworkers sometimes finished their products by cutting, grinding, and polishing. They had learned these techniques from lapidaries, who employed them in completing works made of semiprecious stone. Very little is known about the tools used in this process, although the Roman writer Pliny provides some information about the working of semiprecious stones with abrasives. The same abrasives were probably also used in the cold-working of glass. Indeed, it is likely that some craftsmen worked with both materials. Some of the glass objects finished by cutting, engraving, and wheel abrading featured faceted decoration. One of them was a conical beaker with 11 rows of mostly diamond-shaped facets made by grinding and polishing. Similar beakers have been found all over the Roman Empire, in Scandinavia, and in Afghanistan.
Smith, Ray Winfield, Source
Primary Description: 
Greenish-colorless glass; blown, turned, cut. Slender conical beaker with splayed foot; rim ground flat, with molding at edge; straight tapering side, which changes angle and curves slightly near bottom; splayed foot, hollow, but with low boss underneath; on wall, between offset and ledge, eleven rows of facets, mostly diamond-shaped, in quincunx, top and bottom rows rounded, top row with small U-shaped facet between each pair.
Glass of the Caesars
British Museum 1987-11-18 through 1988-03-06
Romisch-Germanisches Museum 1988-04-15 through 1988-10-18
Musei Capitolini 1988-11-03 through 1989-01-31
Corning Museum of Glass
Glass from the Ancient World
Corning Museum of Glass 1957-06-04 through 1957-09-15
Verres Antiques de la Collection R.W. Smith
Musee de Mariemont 1954 through 1954
Fire and Ice: Ancient Glass in the Princeton University Art Museum (2012) illustrated, p. 26, fig. 43;
Afghanistan: Forging Civilizations along the Silk Road (2012) illustrated, p. 59, fig. 10; BIB# 132698
Glass and rock crystal: a multifaceted relationship (1997) illustrated, p. 202 ff.; p. 198, fig. 6;
Roman Glass in The Corning Museum of Glass, Volume One (1997) p. 233, #395; p. 367, #395; BIB# 58895
All About Glass = Garasu Daihyakka (1993) p. 30; BIB# 36566
Glass of the Caesars (1987) illustrated, p. 195, #105; BIB# 31831
Early Roman Faceted Glass (1984) illustrated, pp. 35-58, p. 49, #30;
Glass from the Ancient World: The Ray Winfield Smith Collection (1957) illustrated, pp. 176-177, #357; BIB# 27315