Brilliant Glass

19 October 2006 until 4 March 2007

Brilliant glassBrilliant glass

Glassmakers from antiquity were exceptionally driven to create the most beautiful shapes and colours. The Brilliant Glass exhibition will leave you amazed at their craftsmanship. The glass goblets, dishes and bowls were made in ancient Egypt, Greece and the Roman Empire. The museum has chosen more than 450 objects from its collection that are particularly eye-catching for their magnificent colour, shape and detailing.


An Egyptian cosmetics bottle from 1400 B.C. is the oldest object on display. The different colours used make it remarkable. 'Brilliant Glass' has more of these types of works of art for you to admire. That is why there is also an explanation of which production techniques the glassmakers of antiquity used. Some of these techniques still have contemporary glassmakers scratching their heads in puzzlement.

Every-day glass

The majority of the glass shown in the exhibition was made in the Roman era (the first centuries A.D.), but there is also older glasswork from Egypt, Syria, Palestine and Greece. The posh glasswork the Romans ate and drank from during festive banquets is particularly eye-catching. Equally lovely is the simpler glasswork for every-day use. The bottles, jars, perfume bottles and dice often were multi-coloured. Combined techniques were used to produce them. Jewellery and amulets were also made of glass, sometimes featuring intricate decorations.

'Brilliant Glass' has been made possible in part by RoMeO, the friends association of the museum, celebrating its 10th anniversary this year.

A full-colour reference work on glass and glass production techniques from antiquity is available in the museum shop.