Glass cameo cup fragment


On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 166

Translucent purple with opaque white overlay.
Plain vertical rim with rounded lip; convex-curving side, turned in towards round bottom.
Decoration in relief on exterior: a symplegma scene of a kneeling naked man with head turned downwards behind a woman, also naked but with an anklet on her right leg; the man's left hand rests on her back and his right arm reaches back for support to a pile of cushions on the end of the low bed or couch, which is covered with linen; he is clean shaven and has short wavy hair; suspended above the lovers is a garland tied at the top with a bow; immediately below the bed is a broad, horizontal ground line, with a second parallel line below around base.
In two conjoining fragments; pinprick bubbles in body; on body, pitting, dulling and deep weathering, with some iridescence; on decoration, some pitting and creamy brown weathering. Horizontal grinding marks on interior.

Roman decorative arts include subjects that are of an explicit sexual nature. Scenes of lovemaking appear on everyday objects such as pottery and terracotta lamps, but they are also featured on luxury items such as silver and, as here, on cameo glass drinking cups.

Glass cameo cup fragment, Glass, Roman

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