Photo © IMJ, by David Harris, Peter Lanyi, Zev Radovan, Nahum Slapak, Mariana Zalzberger
Fine jug
Eastern Mediterranean
4th century CE
Colorless glass with greenish tinge, blown
H: 35; Diam: 15 cm
Gift of Wilma and Laurence Tisch, New York, to American Friends of the Israel Museum
Accession number: 82.2.69
One of the remarkable qualities of glass is the way it weathers over time. Humidity and chemical actions break down the outer layer, creating a cloudy, crackled, and pitted crust. The unevenness of this layer causes the light to refract at different angles, resulting in a brilliant iridescence that sparkles with silver, gold, and all the colors of the rainbow. Yet, though this phenomenon has a particular beauty and mystique, it actually attests to the deterioration of the glass.

Israeli, Yael, Ancient Glass in the Israel Museum: The Eliahu Dobkin Collection and Other Gifts, The Israel Museum, Jerusalem, Israel, 2003

Digital presentation of this object was made possible by: The Ridgefield Foundation, New York, in memory of Henry J. and Erna D. Leir