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The ancient glass collection is one of the hidden gems at the MAS (Antwerp, Belgium). It is part of a valuable glass collection numbering nearly 700 objects and is on a par with other international collections of glass. Now, for the first time, the subcollection of ancient glass is published in this comprehensive catalogue. The ancient glass collection held at the MAS contains along-side more conventional objects, such as Roman toiletry items, some quite remarkable pieces that appear only rarely in international collections. The collection of approximately 150 ancient objects provides a historical outline of fragile Roman, Merovingian, Byzantine and Early Arabian glass tableware. The catalogue also includes some jewellery and a few modern replica pieces of ancient glass. Each object is described in detail and illustrated with high quality photographs. A section has been added at the end of the catalogue providing archaeological drawings. A richly illustrated introductory chapter about the history of the MAS collection and of the institution itself illuminates how the glass collection has grown to become the extensive collection that we see today. On the one hand the ancient glass collection is made up of archaeological glassware collected from the Antwerp region, while on the other it owes itself to the acquisition of European and Mediterranean glass collections put together by collectors from Antwerp. The authors are Dr Peter Cosyns (Vrije Universiteit Brussel), Dr Eugène Warmenbol (Université Libre de Bruxelles) and Annemie De Vos, former curator of the Vleeshuis collection of the MAS. This catalogue is intended for lovers of glassware and scholars alike. Moreover, just as in the past, museum collections were deliberately put on display for the artistic instruction of painters, sculptors and craftsmen. And also today, we are inviting practising artists to take inspiration from this exceptional collection.
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