Glass in Fashion

Thin-walled pottery beaker
Ht., 13.8 cm
Cosa, Italy

Though Republican pottery underwent many stylistic changes over the decades, from the third-quarter of the 1st century B.C. onwards, a simple thin-walled pottery beaker was very much in vogue. Its mass production stretched forward into the Augustan era. Then that beaker's production was totally eclipsed, as glassworkers imitated its form: the novelty of glass's translucency carrying the day for the latter industry.

Glassworkers could never produce the massive amphorae used in long distance trading of wine. By the mid-1st century A.D., however, they were mold-blowing bottles and flasks that could be used to hawk wine through a city's streets and among the stalls of its many busy marketplaces.