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Cage Cups: Late Roman Luxury Glasses

Cage cups, vessels with three-dimensional openwork decoration, are considered to be one of the most beautiful forms of Roman luxury glass. Made from about A.D. 250 to the mid-fourth century, they were often owned by the most privileged members of Roman society. These vessels were created from a single thick-walled blank that was cut to produce free-standing figures, inscriptions, or “cages” of adjoining meshes attached to the body by struts or posts.

For many years, Dr. David Whitehouse had been collecting information about cage cups and fragments. As he learned of their existence, he filed the information away until he could undertake a comprehensive study of the topic, one that had not been seriously examined since 1959. In 2011, he began to review the material, but he was unable to finish the project because of his death from cancer in February 2013. Thanks to the diligence and devotion of his longtime friends, colleagues, and staff of The Corning Museum of Glass, the publication he envisioned has now been completed.

Cage Cups: Late Roman Luxury Glasses is a comprehensive survey that presents chapters on the discovery and study, characteristics, distribution and date, and manufacture of cage cups. The book includes a catalog of 69 vessels and fragments, nine appendixes, and an addendum containing 13 objects that was written following the author’s death.

255 pp., 199 illus.: 153 color, 46 b/w
David Whitehouse (with the assistance of William Gudenrath and Paul Roberts)
Publication Year: 

Cage Cups: Late Roman Luxury Glasses