Glass mosaic face bead

Roman, Eastern Mediterranean

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 171

Opaque red ground, with details in opaque yellow, white, red, and grayish green, and translucent purple, appearing black.
Section of an irregular oval mosaic composite bar; flat with rough edges; hole diagonally through bead.
Circular face, distorted on one side; hair rendered as alternating vertical black and white stripes on forehead; almond-shaped eyes, eyebrows, nose, and round mouth with red lips; green stripe around chin.
Intact; slight dulling and pitting.

The faces on these flat beads are so small and indistinguishable that it is impossible to tell if they are meant to be men, women, children, or masks.

Glass mosaic face bead, Glass, Roman, Eastern Mediterranean

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