Mosaic wares originated with the introduction of glass molding
in the Hellenistic world around 220 B.C. when Greek glassworkers
adapted the then new potter's technique for mold-shaped bowls. In
mold casting, a hot disc of glass is slumped over a conical-shaped
clay mold and pressed down so as to create a smooth rim. The glass,
while still hot, is then removed from the mold to prevent cracking
and breaking. The first cast vessels had a monochrome repertoire:
aquablue, light green, amber, purple, and white. By the late
2nd century B.C., however, a brand new style of riotously colored glassware
emerged known as mosaic wares. The Romans of the late Republican era took mosaic wares,
improved their technology, and greatly increased the diversity of their color palette.
The casting of glass
in the Hellenistic era
1) Fleming, S.J., 1999: Roman Glass:
Reflections on Cultural Change, Plates 6 and 15-22 (University
of Pennsylvania Museum, Philadelphia).
2) Fünfschilling, S., 1986: "Römische
Gläser aus Baden-Aquae Helveticae (aus den Grabunger 1892-1911),"
Jahrebericht der Gesellschaft P.O. Vindonissa 1985, 81-160.
3) Grose, D.F., 1989: Early Ancient Glass,
various sections (New York: Hudson Hills).
4) Lowenthal, A.I. and Harden, D.B., 1949:
"Vasa Murrhina," Journal of Roman Studies 39, 31-36.
5) Vickers, M., 1996: "Rock Crystal:
The Key to Cut Glass and Diatreta in Persia and Rome," Journal
of Roman Archaeology 9, 48-65.