Glass dish

Period: Imperial

Date: ca. A.D. 100–150

Culture: Roman

Medium: Glass; Cast and cut

Dimensions: 1 1/16 x 3 3/16 x 5 5/8in. (2.7 x 8.1 x 14.3cm)

Classification: Glass

Credit Line: Gift of Henry G. Marquand, 1881

Accession Number: 81.10.237


This patterned plate displays the creative use of a combination of different glassmaking techniques. First, a sheet of colorless glass was cast into the basic size and shape, and then the dish was lathe-cut to smooth tool marks from the upper surfaces. Finally, the floral decoration of buds and vines seen on the inner bottom segment and on the two wide handles was wheel engraved with remarkable skill. Glass objects such as this, with their sharp, angular profiles, were modeled on metal serving dishes made in silver and tinned bronze. The colorless matrix of this dish is representative of the shift in the second century away from colored cast glass toward an increased use of applied and cut decoration.