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Roman Glass Marble...the Oldest Marble In My Collection!


JVVmarbles
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I wanted to show you all my oldest glass marble, a Roman marble dating from the 2nd-3rd century AD. Found in Holland at a Roman site. The marble is 1-5/16" in size and has an aquamarine base. On the surface is a 'flower' made with white and dark blue glass paste. It's not perfectly round, but it can still roll. Does any of you have more information about this marble? Maybe you've seen one before? I'd love to know more about it! And a question to the marble makers among you...how was it made?

Here are some pics (I've made it wet wih water):

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and 3 pics of how it actually looks, with a lot irridization from being in the ground so long:

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I have have 2 of them. Not show stoppers for sure. Both have that oxidation of JVV. One of mine is same base as JVV except it has two snakes around the equator (green and yellow). The other is black and looks like it rods of red and yellow pushed through. Both around the 7/8". Both of mine came from Syria. I bug the ancient coin dealers who also get artifacts in my area all the time. I have a different theory than Galen's. I think they just were suppossed to be beads that didnt get the hole.

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Thanks for all your reactions! Roman glass can certainly be very sophisticated. I've seen some amazing glasswork in museums. I already got an offer by an interested buyer. I might be interested to sell it for a good price. You can send me a pm if you are interested. Trades are also welcome.

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I've studied ancient Egyptian and Roman glass (most of which was actually made in Syria) and work this complicated (and more complicated) has been found in securely dated excavations, althugh never in mass quantities. Luxury items.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Would love to see a piece of glass made prior to 500 AD that involved an alternating cane pickup. This type of technique is from the 15th and 16th century.

Toledo, Corning, and the Met display no such pieces, nor do any of the 200 plus books/ journals / excavation reports that I own on 'ancient glass.

Enlighten me please :-) I am just a humble glass maker & archaeologist...lol

...and for your viewing pleasure..an Eastern Mediterranean Core Formed Alabastron from my collection. Greek / Hellenistic - 4th - 5th century BC.

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...and for your viewing pleasure..an Eastern Mediterranean Core Formed Alabastron from my collection. Greek / Hellenistic - 4th - 5th century BC.

Nice! Examples like that, some of the Greek glass "mosaic" bowls, and Roman "face" beads were what I was thinking of in terms of elaboration . . . not a specific technique like cane-pick-up. My knowledge is basically ancient metalwork. But without seeing any more, I'm pretty sure I'd like to have your entire collection of ancient glass!

A cranky old art historian (northern & western Asia) with some archeological background.

Ann

Nice to meet you!

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Bert Cohen in Boston had some of these ancient glass marbles - but smaller. Possibly he could have some additional information.

here is a picture I took at Amana in 2002 as Bert had a speaker talk about them forgot who but I am sure Bert would remember but they are 200 BC . Mike post-94-129140492552_thumb.jpgpost-94-129140493544_thumb.jpg

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