This colourful glass bowl has acquired its delightful pattern by means of a special technique called mosaic glass or millefiori, a thousand flowers, as the finished result often emerges as a flower-pattern. Roman, 1st century AD.
The earliest known glass vessels date back to the 16th century BC. They were produced in the Eastern Mediterranean and from here the production of glass soon spread to other parts of the antique world. Whereas the early forms of production – e.g. to wind scorching molten glass around a core of clay – were difficult and time-consuming, the invention of glassblowing in the 1st century BC meant that the objects could be produced far quicker and cheaper.
Due to this, glass changed its status from primarily being a luxury material to also being an everyday material, which was used for anything from oil bottles to window glass. The exhibition GLASS shows this exact development through a selection of antique Egyptian, Greek and Roman glass objects from Thorvaldsen’s collection of antiquities.
The collection of antiquities is situated on the first floor of the museum.