Syria has a very old tradition of glass-making as part of its material culture. Many of the techniques were passed down from generation to generation across centuries of the country’s history. The composite mosaic glass technique, called millefiori (Italian, meaning thousand flowers), was well known and highly popular in Roman society. The Islamic pieces tend to imitate the Roman style. In this Roman example from Homs, the mosaic pattern is formed using polygonal sections of two canes of glass: one has a purple ground outlined in white; the other has a blue-green ground with a spoked circle of yellow dots and a central white dot.
Lent by The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Rogers Fund, 1912 (12.212.1)