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Large exhibition with wide selection of glassware

on display to 1 September 2019

The most beautiful glass in the museum’s collection

The glassmakers of antiquity were exceptionally adept at creating beautiful shapes and colours. The exhibition Glass testifies to their craftsmanship. You will see a wide selection of the most beautiful glass objects in the museum’s collection, originating from Egypt, the Classical world, the Netherlands and elsewhere. For the connoisseurs among art lovers.

Glass from ancient Egypt, Greece and Rome

In this exhibition you will see a number of the earliest glass objects from ancient Egypt, such as cosmetic flasks and amulets. The highlights also include Roman glass, armbands and bracelets from the European Iron Age (the period known as ‘La Tène’), jewellery, gems, play stones, Greek glass, remarkable Merovingian cups, and several early Islamic glasses.

Glass collection of the Dutch National Museum of Antiquities

The glass collection of the Dutch National Museum of Antiquities is remarkable for its size, diversity, and range. To take one example: the museum preserves the richest collection of Roman glass in the Netherlands. A large proportion of the glass collection is kept in the storage facility, where it is conserved with great care and studied. This summer, the exhibition Glass will place the finest pieces from this collection in the spotlight.

Unique and versatile

If you melt quartz sand together with soda and limestone, they fuse and solidify to form glass: a unique and versatile material. Craftsmen have been making the most beautiful objects from glass for thousands of years. Nowadays, glass is commonplace. We find glass objects all around us, from windowpanes to drinking glasses, from spectacles to fiberglass cables. We might almost forget that glass ranks among human beings’ most spectacular discoveries.

Aesthetic appeal and practical usefulness

Glass objects from antiquity are fascinating because of their fragility. Some have incredibly thin sides and are as light as a feather. Furthermore, many of them are fashioned into lively shapes and have beautiful colours. How were people able to create such objects so long ago? And how is it possible that the glass has remained intact down the centuries? Besides objects of great aesthetic value, the exhibits also include ordinary household utensils. These can tell us a great deal about how people lived in those remote times.

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