Photos

Roman Glass from the Archaeological Museum of Pavia

Roman glassware includes some of the finest pieces of art ever produced in antiquity and the very best were valued higher than wares made with precious metals. However, plain glass vessels such as cups, bowls, plates, and bottles were also used as everyday containers, in particular, for storing and serving food, drinks, and perfumes. The Romans also used glass for its decorative qualities and could be incorporated in mosaics and decorative panels in both walls and furniture. The material was also used for windows, to create jewellery, mirrors, game pieces, magnifying glasses, sculpture and, in the form of powder, even as a medicine and toothpaste. The sheer quantity of Roman glass would not be matched until the boom in Venetian glass in the 15th century CE.

Below are some examples from the collection in the Archaeological Museum of the Museo Civico in Pavia, Italy. All images copyright of Mark Cartwright.

These cups, bottles, and perfume containers all date to the 1st and 2nd century CE.

Cups

A two-handled cup. Roman glassware at the Archaeological Museum of Pavia. Image © Mark Cartwright.

 

A glass kantharos or drinking cup. Roman glassware at the Archaeological Museum of Pavia. Image © Mark Cartwright.

Glass Bottles

Roman glassware at the Archaeological Museum of Pavia. Image © Mark Cartwright.

Roman glassware at the Archaeological Museum of Pavia. Image © Mark Cartwright.Roman glassware at the Archaeological Museum of Pavia. Image © Mark Cartwright.

Roman glassware at the Archaeological Museum of Pavia. Image © Mark Cartwright.

Roman glassware at the Archaeological Museum of Pavia. Image © Mark Cartwright.Roman glassware at the Archaeological Museum of Pavia. Image © Mark Cartwright.

Perfume Bottles & Spheres

A glass perfume bottle. Roman glass at the Archaeological Museum of Pavia. Image © Mark Cartwright.

 

Perfume Spheres. Roman glass at the Archaeological Museum of Pavia. Image © Mark Cartwright.

Glass perfume spheres. Roman glass at the Archaeological Museum of Pavia. Image © Mark Cartwright.

Shaped Forms for Perfume

Roman glass at the Archaeological Museum of Pavia. Image © Mark Cartwright. Glass perfume bottle. Roman glass at the Archaeological Museum of Pavia. Image © Mark Cartwright.

Roman glass at the Archaeological Museum of Pavia. Image © Mark Cartwright.

For more on Roman glass, see here.

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Mark Cartwright

Mark studied Greek philosophy with a particular focus on Plato but has since widened his interests to include all things ancient Greek. Special interests are the Minoan civilization and 5th century Classical Athens. He is also interested in ancient pottery and what these everyday objects can reveal about past lives and traditions. He is a great believer in Jacques-Yves Cousteau's maxim: "Il Faut aller voir" - we must go and look for ourselves - and hopes his photos will inspire visitors to AHE to do the same.