Ancient Mosaic Glass Goblet

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This piece is part of a Roman glass goblet that is missing its original stem and foot. Dating back to the 1st century CE, it is hypothesized that this vessel was created using glass cane, which was then formed into the mosaic swirl pattern. This multicoloured piece of glass was then reheated in order to sag it into a curved mold. This ancient glass piece has high a degree of polish on the exterior. Therefore, it would have been most likely been used by the upper class citizens of Roman society.

Conservation History

Initial Condition

Upon arrival to Queen’s University, this goblet had lost its stem, foot, and part of its rim. The damage was assessed, concluding that several of the pieces had been attempted to be adhered together. There was also evidence of prior filling and overpainting on the exterior surface. Lastly, there were also abrasions on the glass’ exterior from its original archaeological context.

Conservation Treatment

Once the failing adhesive, old filling and overpainting had been removed with ethanol, the glass sherds were thoroughly cleaned. Reassembly of these sherds took place using Paraloid B72 in acetone, and no modern filling or overpainting was attempted. This goblet’s display mount was also constructed at this time.


0. Identification: AA1646

1. Institution: Department of Classics; Art Conservation, Queen’s University  (Kingston, Ontario, Canada)

2. Identification references: AA1646

3.1. Category: decorative vessel, Archaeological Artifact

3.2. Designation:  goblet

3.3. Name: Ancient Mosaic Glass Goblet

3.4. Details: Diniacopoulos Collection

4.2. Description of iconography: Mosaic

4.3. Iconographic analysis: Decorative pattern

5.1. Material: brown; deep purple; yellow; white glass

5.2. Technique:  sagged; cast in mold; exterior and rim polishing

6.1. Unit: Cm

6.2. Height: h 8.00 cm

6.5. Diameter: di 6.375 cm

6.7. Form: convex body; missing stem

7.1. Manner of discovery:  acquired by Vincent and Olga Diniacopoulos

7.2. Place of discovery: Mediterranean Basin

8.3. Region, style, workshop:  Roman

9.1. Inscription or Mark “Type” : mold marks

9.2. Position: interior

9.3. Description of transcription: None

10.2. Epoch: 1st century CE

11.1. Acquisition method:  donation

11.2. Date of acquisition:  2001

11.3. Previous owner: Diniacopoulos, Olga