Year: 300-400 d.C.
Dimension: Diameter 4,8 cm
Circa late IV century A.D. Transparent glass, turquoise in color, from the base of a vessel, with cunt and incised gold-leaf decoration, presenting the draped bust of a woman, depicted frontally, wearing a tunic and mantle with patterning at the shoulder, adorned with a beaded necklace, her striated hair in elaborate hairstyle, with large articulated eyes beneath arching brows, a simple horizontal mouth and a dimpled chin, framed by a Latin inscription “ SABINA VIVAS” reading : Sabina may you live (long). Mounted on a gold circular frame, gold and rock cristal necklace.
Vessel of colorless glass with a central gold foil medallion in the tondo were particularly prized during the late Roman period. Such luxury vessels were no doubt used during the daily life, but the fragment survive because of their secondary use as a funerary marker. Most have been found in the catacombs of Rome, embedded into the tombs for both decoration and identification of the deceased. According to Painter (p. 266 in Harden, Glass of the Caesars) “we may speculate that the vessels had been used in a final meal or other rite before the niche was closed, and the fragment of the vessel was incorporated perhaps in a gesture matching the pagan deposition of grave-goods in this period of transition to Christianity” The subject include Old and New Testament subject scene, inscriptions, pagan deities, portraits, either of individual or couples and families, animals, and Jewish subject.