Mosaic glass inlay with floral motif

Object number
Object: Mosaic glass inlay with floral motif

Material: Polychrome opaque mosaic glass in green, yellow, blue and red.

Period: Late 1st century BC to 1st century AD.
Early Roman Imperial period.

Description:    Decorative discoid inlay made of polychrome mosaic glass. The concentric motif was skilfully arranged out of glass rods, then molten and cut into slices. It shows lilies and palmettes around a rosette.

Background: Glass inlays were a popular decoration during the early Roman Imperial period and used in various provinces. The motif of this piece employs two of the very typical basic stylistic elements that are lilies, palmettes and lotus flowers. It was probably made in Egypt. The traditional glass workshops there must have produced significant quantities of mosaic glass for decoration purposes.

Dimensions: Approx. 22mm diameter.

Condition: Reassembled from larger fragments, nicely done restoration. Small chips at the rim. The motif is very well preserved and of high artistic quality.

Provenance: Acquired by us in 2020 on the British art market. Previously property of a British family. Acquired in 1983 from the Swiss private collection of Oswald Burchard.
Mr. Burchard acquired many objects from the collection of M. Hess that was auctioned by Hôtel Jura in Basel. It is likely that this glass inlay originated from the Hess collection as well. A note mentions Giorgio Sangiorgi (1886–1960) as a possible previous owner.

References: Cf. Metropolitan Museum of Art, 17.194.389.
Cf. Christie's, Sale 15792 "Antiquities", lot 93 (sold for USD 6,250).

Literature: There is a catalogue from 1914 by the dealer and collector Giorgio Sangiorgi called Collezione di vetri antichi dalle origini al V sec. D. C. It contains a good description of his collection and shows several similar mosaic glass inlays from it, but not this one.

Authenticity: We unconditionally guarantee the authenticity of every artefact, all items are subject to our lifetime return policy on authenticity.