Roman Iridescent Glass Beaker
ROMAN BEAKER WITH WHEEL-CUT LINES
The simple shape of this vessel resembles our modern drinking glasses. It is pale blue/green with iridescence. The exterior is decorated with faint wheel cut bands: three parallel lines around the center, one band near the base. This beaker has a ground rim and flattened base. The beauty of this cup is in the natural iridescence which has formed on it. Beaker is intact. What is iridescence?
Iris, the Greek goddess of the rainbow, lends her name to the word iridescence a lustrous, rainbow-like play of color. Iridescence was admired by modern glassmakers but was not an intentional effect made by ancient artisans. The effect was found on pieces of ancient glass where burial conditions caused alkali (soluble salt) to leach from the glass and form layers that eventually separate and flake off. The remaining surface layers reflect light differently, resulting in an iridescent appearance. see Corning Museum of Glass
Date: First Century A.D.
H: 9.3 cm. Rim D: 6.5 cm.
Cf. Auth 1976 #368 (The Newark Museum)