Glass has been a prized material for centuries.
Although it is not known for certain when man
first started making glass, it probably was first
produced in Western Asia about 4000 years ago.
A 17th century B.C. site on the Tigris River in
ancient Mesopotamia gives us our first written
information about glass making techniques. It
was there that a tablet was discovered which
contained a recipe for a glass glaze. Although
the oldest complete glass vessels are found in
ancient Egypt, it was the Romans who discovered
that glass, when hot, could be blown like a soap
bubble on the end of a hollow, metal blowing
rod. Thus, the manufacture of glass was instantly
revolutionized. For the first time glassmakers
could use the unique malleable quality of glass.
Soon the material began to be treasured in its
own right, rather than as an imitation of other
precious substances. This greenish-blue glass
flask is a beautiful example of the Roman artists'
ability to manipulate this complex medium. Its
tall, stately body has a slim, cylindrical neck and
wide folded rim, nicely proportioned to
complement the rectangular lines of the body. A
graceful strap handle is attached to the flask
from the neck to the shoulder, adding an
element of elegance to this timeless work of art.
How fortunate we are that this radiant
masterpiece has survived over the centuries, its
lustrous beauty stimulating our senses and
enhancing our appreciation for the innovative
efforts of the ancient Roman craftsman who