Rare Ancient Roman Mosaic Glass Bead Middle East

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  • Item Category: Antiquities
  • Source: eBay
  • Sold Date: Oct 14, 2007
  • Channel: Auction House

Rare Ancient Roman Mosaic Glass Bead Middle East
Rare Ancient Roman Mosaic Glass Bead / Middle East 100 BC- 400 AD

This extremely rare Roman mosaic glass bead dates to approximately 100 BC to 400 AD or earlier and was found in the Middle East .

This bead has an exquisite design and wonderful colors.

This extremely rare bead shows a beautiful original patina and wear.

T are no repairs.

Expected corrosion and wear are a consequence of age and extended burial.

Some original sedimentary deposition has been retained on part of the surface.

This Roman mosaic glass bead is 100 % genuine.

The size of bead is 7 mm x 6.5 mm

The stringing holes have a diameter of 2.1 mm.

The weight is 0.5 grams.

Glass making was invented more than 2,000 years before the Roman Empire

The terms "Roman" or "Roman-period" glass are used to describe glass production from 100 BC to AD 400 within the boundaries of the Roman Empire .

Since approximately 1500 BCE colored Roman Glass was made in Egypt , Palestine and Syria (Mesopotamian Empire). With the growing Roman Empire also the glass blowing techniques spread.

With the invention of the blowing pipe technique glass making was completely modernized and glass was able to be shaped freely by hand. Under the reign of the first Emperor Augustus (1st century BC) glass making became an industry in the Roman Empire .

Roman glass was made by using sand, alkali, sodium carbonate, coloring agents (metals) and was formed with burning seaweed and lime. Roman glass was produced in a large range of colors, patterns and frequently complex techniques.

Metals were also used to make many colorful variations. Copper was used to make turquoise to light blue, green, red or opaque red colored glass. Some addition of cobalt made the glass dark blue. Yellowish and purple glass was created by the use of manganese and antimony to make the glass opaque yellow or opaque white. Also iron was used to make a light blue, green, brown and black color.

Iridescence and opalescence on many ancient glass pieces is caused by the chemical decomposition of glass, the consequence of extended burial and the humidity and acid in the soil.

HISTORY of Glass Beads

When glass first became widespread as a new medium available to craftsmen in ancient times, around 1550 BC, it was a luxury item used either as an "ersatz" for semiprecious stones, or as an analog to stone offering new and exciting colors unavailable in natural stone. Since one of the established uses for semiprecious stones was to manufacture ornamental beads, glass bead making was a natural evolution of existing traditions.
The first glass beads of the Bronze Age were, like most precious stones, monochrome. Soon, they became bichrome with the addition of "trailed" decoration. But as the period of prosperity of the second millennium came to an end, and the market for luxury goods dried up, the whole glass industry stalled for hundreds of years.
With improving general conditions, glass work shops reopened, and with the 9th century BC came a new distinctive type of beads. The 8th and 7th century BC saw an important paradigm shift from opaque, stone-like, glass to considerable experimentation with the translucence of glass. It is during the 6th century BC, which saw a marked expansion in glass production in general, that more technically complex beads such as "stratified eye beads" became frequent. One gets a sense that glass workers were driven to compete in technical prowess.
The technique of trailing and layering would reach its peak during the next three hundred years until Hellenistic glassworkers developed and applied glass drawing techniques to bead making. Multicolored and concentric rods and mosaic bars considerably enriched the repertoire of bead d...