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Glass plaque fragment

Period:
Early Imperial
Date:
1st century A.D.
Culture:
Roman
Medium:
Glass; cast in an open mold in two layers
Dimensions:
Overall: 2 1/16 in. (5.2 cm)
Classification:
Glass
Credit Line:
Gift of J. Pierpont Morgan, 1917
Accession Number:
17.194.362
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 166
Translucent pale blue and opaque mid blue.
Square or rectangular, flat plaque; straight upper edge in mid blue, with projecting rough edge and grozed back in pale blue.
Decoration in high relief: parts of two figures: at left, raised (proper left ?) arm bent upwards at elbow; at center, naked male figure leaning forward to left but with his head truned back in three-quarter view to right and proper left arm behind a large, unidentified object; behind arm of first figure in low relief a trident; below and in front of central figure, foliate sprays.
Fragment with weathered broken edges, but one area with clean break at bottom left; small part of top edge remaining; dulling, pitting, whitish weathering, and faint iridescence.

The plaque is not a true cameo, since the translucent blue background is completely covered with a thin layer of opaque light-blue glass. The scene, which involves a man and at least one other person, cannot now be identified.
1903. Collection Julien Gréau. Verrerie antique, émaillerie et poterie appartenant à M. John Pierpont Morgan. no. 473, p. 71, pl. 52.3.

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