Marble Glass Snake

  • Eastern Mediterranean or Italy
  • 1st century A.D.
Catalogue Entry

This large snake was made from a marble glass consisting of reddish brown glass wrapped in white and pale blue cords of glass. Breaks can be seen in about six places, but the pattern of the glass continues so it is thought that its current form essentially represents the original form the snake. The base is flat and later additions of paint can be seen decorating numerous spots. Fragments of similar works can be found, but intact examples like this are rare, and the expressive power of its sense of living movement is superb. While its original use is unknown, it is possible that this snake was used as inlay decoration in some setting.