A very large and rare Roman jet-black glass bracelet. D-shaped profile typical of the 4th Century A.D.
Because of its large size, this example may well have been designed for a man or alternatively worn by a woman or child as an armlet.
Condition: A small chip on one side, otherwise a very solid and chunky bracelet and very wearable!
Dimensions: Dia: 96mm (external) 81mm (internal).
Provenance: Ex. Don Lee collection UK, formed between 1950 - 2007.
Don Lee was a prolific collector of antiquities and coins. A former school teacher from London, Don made some remarkable finds himself, including a fabulously rare Wuneetton type gold thrymsa while 'mudlarking' on the banks of the river Thames at the age of 76! His collection spanned thousands of years from Stone Age axe heads to Roman glass and Viking brooches. His collection of coins and antiquities was auctioned in the summer of 2007.
Roman bracelets are some of the most collectable antiquities for sale. Roman men, women and children of all social classes wore bracelets to decorate their wrists and also their arms (armlets). They were made in a variety of materials; particularly copper-alloy, glass, silver, gold and in Britain shale (manufactured in Yorkshire and Dorset).
Roman glass bracelets are beautiful objects and highly sought after by collectors. Unlike the majority of Roman glass, their concentric shape makes them unusually robust, so many have survived in the archaeological record. They come in the same colours as glass vessels, but unlike these larger items, their smaller size makes them more affordable, particularly in the popular colours of blue, red and yellow. In terms of style, like many items from the early empire, bracelets tend to be of simple design, the colour or material providing the bling effect. Later and into the post Roman Islamic period, glass bracelets show a return to bands of colours and inlaid patterns.
Just like Roman rings, a significant proportion of surviving Roman bracelets are far too small for an adult to wear. This tells us that they were worn by children in combination with other jewellery.
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