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Craftsmanship

While ceramic vessels were ubiquitous in antiquity, precious materials were reserved for special uses in elite dining rooms or religious settings. Silver was especially prized for plates, since the metal was easy to work and remained sturdy when used. The technological complexity of glass vessels meant they were especially valuable possessions in an ancient home. These objects were not made for ordinary daily use, but rather were luxury goods produced by expert craftsmen.

 

Exhibit Items

Bowl with Bust of Isis

Roman, 1st century; faience; 14.5 × 4.4 cm (5 11/16 × 1 3/4 in.). BZ.1936.64

Fragment from a Vase

Roman, uncertain date; cameo glass; 5 × 6.5 cm (1 15/16 × 2 9/16 in.). BZ.1946.9

Fragment of Glass with Stylized Flowers

Roman, uncertain date; glass; 5.4 × 5.2 cm (2 1/8 × 2 1/16 in.). BZ.1957.6

Cup with Inscription

Late Hellenistic or Roman, 1st century BCE; silver; 10 × 16.5 cm (3 15/16 × 6 1/2 in.). BZ.1940.3

Plate with Hippolytos and Phaidra

Early Byzantine, late 5th–6th century; silver; 25.1 × 25.1 cm (9 7/8 × 9 7/8 in.). BZ.1949.7