figure bottom Portland Vase Roman cameo glass vase currently British Museum London gods pottery pot goddess ceramic ceremonial
Contributor:SOTK2011 / Alamy Stock Photo
File size:25.9 MB (1.5 MB Compressed download)
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Dimensions:2841 x 3181 px | 24.1 x 26.9 cm | 9.5 x 10.6 inches | 300dpi
Date taken:19 October 2011
The Portland Vase is a Roman cameo glass vase, currently dated to between AD 5 and AD 25, which served as an inspiration to many glass and porcelain makers from about the beginning of the 18th century onwards. Since 1810 the vase has been kept almost continuously in the British Museum in London. It was bought by the museum in 1945 (reference - GR 1945,0927.1) ; on display in Room 70, Rome: City & Empire). The vase is about 25 centimeters high and 56 in circumference. It is made of violet-blue glass, and surrounded with a single continuous white glass cameo depicting seven figures (humans and gods). On the bottom was a cameo glass disc, also in blue and white, showing a head, presumed to be of Paris or Priam on the basis of the Phrygian cap it wears. This roundel clearly does not belong to the vase, and has been displayed separately since 1845. It may have been added to mend a break in antiquity or after, or the result of a conversion from an original amphora form (paralleled by a similar blue-glass cameo vessel from Pompeii) - it was definitely attached to the bottom from at least 1826.