The molded glass bowl is an example of the handsome luxury tableware available in early Roman Imperial times. The beauty of translucent glass was just beginning to be appreciated, and a wide variety of shapes in different colors was produced for affluent homeowners. This vessel, with its sharply defined ribs, was probably an imitation of similar, much more expensive bowls of gold and silver. The glassmakers were experimenting in techniques and designs in the first stages of what was to become an enormous industry in mass-produced glass for domestic use throughout the Roman world.
Artist Roman
  • Ribbed Bowl
Date 1st century BCE or 1st century CE
Medium Glass
Dimensions Overall: 1 7/8 × 5 inches (4.8 × 12.7 cm)
Credit Line Founders Society Purchase, Cleo and Lester Gruber Fund
Accession Number 1990.270
Department Greco-Roman and Ancient European
On View Ancient Greek and Roman S2BB, Level 2 (see map)
(Donna Jacobs Gallery, Ltd., Birmingham, Michigan, USA);
1990-present, purchase by the Detroit Institute of Arts (Detroit, Michigan, USA)
Henshaw, Julia P. A Visitors Guide: The Detroit Institute of Arts. Detroit, 1995, p. 119 (ill.)

Slough, Penelope W. “The Art of Ancient Glass.” Bulletin of the DIA 79, no. 1/2 (2005): ill. 38, fig. 5.