A vast number of top-quality photographs, including full-page spreads, of some of the finest masterpieces of glassware made through the ages. On exhibitions a collection of pieces from museums in Italy and elsewhere in Europe after a long period of careful restoration.
The book begins with a general introduction by the specialist Maddalena Cima, who examines glass-making chronologically, starting in Mesopotamia and moving on through the Hellenistic period to Imperial Rome, the Late Antique period and Christianity. She explains how, at first, glass was used to make fragile luxury objects but, that in the end, it was also used to decorate sumptuous buildings (in mosaics and other forms of ornamentation). Maria Antonietta Tomei, on the other hand, has written a review of references to glass by Roman authors, commenting on passages from various classical sources, showing us how people perceived these fragile and beautiful objects in ancient times. A young scholar Giulia Giovanetti has written a an exhaustive and detailed account about the techniques involved in making and working glass, with helpful charts and pertinent illustrations: the reticello technique, blown glass, engraved glass and the extraordinary glass ‘cage cups’. She carefully examines the most usual or typical forms, and the amazing range of colors of these magical, transparent objects. The section written by Giovanna Bandini examines glass from the chemical and physical point of view, probes into the causes of its decline and describes how finds from archeological sites are patiently restored. The book also looks at places where glass has recently been found, in Umbria and the Veneto, and, of course Rome. A vast number of top-quality photographs, including full-page spreads, of some of the finest masterpieces of glassware made through the ages. A collection of pieces from museums in Italy and elsewhere in Europe, about 100 of which have never been published before, having emerged from the store-rooms of the Superintendency for the Archeological Heritage of Rome after a long period of careful restoration.