What have the Romans ever done for us? Well, a nice line in vases for starters... Photo courtesy Broadfield House Glass Museum.
Broadfield House Glass Museum in Kingswinford, Dudley is displaying relics from a gladiator’s drinking cup and other rare items in a new exhibition of Roman glass.
The exhibition, Vitrvm Romanvm: Roman Glass, runs until October 2 2005 and will include some seldom seen pieces from the museum’s own collection as well as around 80 examples borrowed from museums across the country. Some have never been on public display before.
Adrian Durkin, exhibitions officer, said: “Although glass can be fragile, the Romans often used it in their funeral offerings where it was buried carefully and survived intact for over two thousand years. Some beautiful pieces have come from grave deposits.”
Among the pieces on display will be a tiny fragment from a gladiator’s drinking cup found in Gloucester and a fine example of a double-headed blown glass vase from Colchester.
The Romans were the first culture to mass-produce glass and they used their techniques to make it in all corners of their empire. Some of the exhibits are from mainland Europe although most were made and used in Britain during the Roman occupation.
Broadfield House will also be hosting a Roman day on September 17 where visitors can find out more about Roman life and glass making.