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A Roman Mosaic Glass Bead set as a pendant, ca. 1st century CE

RJ2001

A round glass bead of swirled light and dark blue colors creating a galaxy effect.

First created in ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia approximately 3,500 years ago, glass beads have a long and complex history in the ancient world. The Romans discovered glass-making with their conquest of Egypt in the first century BCE, and quickly found ways to not only improve upon the existing technique, but to mass-produce all types of glass products and to trade them throughout the ever-growing empire. Glass beads were vastly popular due to their versatility -- they could be worn as adornments, used as offerings, or traded as currency. Millefiori beads were particularly popular and were traded even beyond the far corners of the empire, including Central Africa, China, and Scandinavia.

Dimensions: Bead diameter: 1.1 cm (0.43 inches). Strung on a 20-inch silver chain

Condition: Intact and in excellent condition overall.

Provenance:  collection of Vincent Funiciello, Brooklyn, NY,  assembled between 1930s - 70s, thence by descent.


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