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Ancient Art


Late 2nd century B.C.–early 1st century A.D.

Cast mosaic glass

7.8 × 14.1 cm (3 1/16 × 5 9/16 in.)
Hobart and Edward Small Moore Memorial Collection, Bequest of Mrs. William H. Moore
This hemispherical bowl is an example of ancient mosaic glass, a type of highly colorful glassware that attained its greatest popularity in the second and first centuries B.C. The mosaic decoration (sometimes anachronistically called “millefiori” after Venetian glass decorated in the same way) was achieved by arranging separate pieces of glass–often with colorful patterns already worked into them–in a mold and fusing them with heat in an oven or kiln. In this case, spirals of yellow with blue and white accents, combined with tesserae of purple, green, white, and blue, were set within a colorless matrix. A twisted band of blue and white was wrapped around the rim of the bowl.
On view
Roman, Eastern Mediterranean
Hellenistic or Roman
Containers - Glass

Probably the "ancient glass 'millefiori' bowl of dominant yellow color" bought by Ada Small Moore from Harold Woodbury Parsons on 5 December 1928. According to Parsons the bowl was found at Kertsch and was formerly in the Kanenko Collection in Kiev.


Gustavus A. Eisen, Glass: Its Origin, History, Chronology, Technic and Classification to the Sixteenth Century, 2 vols. (New York: William Edwin Rudge, 1927), vol. 1, p. 198.

Andrew Oliver Jr., “Millefiori Glass in Classical Antiquity,” Journal of Glass Studies X (1968): 60, fig. 19.

Susan B. Matheson, Ancient Glass in the Yale University Art Gallery (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Art Gallery, 1980), 19–20, no. 53, ill.

Handbook of the Collections, exh. cat. (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Art Gallery, 1992), 268, ill.

Richard A. Grossmann, Ancient Glass: A Guide to the Yale Collection (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Art Gallery, 2002), 8, fig. 7.

David Ake Sensabaugh and Susan B. Matheson, “Ada Small Moore: Collector and Patron,” Yale University Art Gallery Bulletin (2002): 39, fig. 7.

Susan B. Matheson, Art for Yale: A History of the Yale University Art Gallery (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Art Gallery, 2001), 115, fig. 113.

David Battie and Simon Cottle, eds., Sotheby’s Concise Encyclopedia of Glass (London: Conran Octopus Limited, 1991), 22, ill.

Note: This electronic record was created from historic documentation that does not necessarily reflect the Yale University Art Gallery’s complete or current knowledge about the object. Review and updating of such records is ongoing.