Making a display of ourselves

Over the past few months Kirstie has done a wonderful job conserving our Roman period glass from Cyprus. She’s written about some of these objects in her blogs, where you can see how she has transformed these from broken fragments into their original complete vessels. This jar is one of the most astounding pieces of her work – originally in 50 fragments, and now conserved to an almost-complete vessel.

Conserved glass bottle

Conserved glass bottle

Now it’s the time for these objects to shine! At RAMM we have a visible storage area that visitors can see into through windows in a gallery, or book onto a tour for a look around. Here they can catch a glimpse of the wondrous objects we aren’t able to display in the galleries. Last week Kirstie, Heather (project volunteer), and myself spent a day putting the Roman glass into this store with its glass-fronted cabinets. For the first time in over 40 years these beautiful and delicate objects are publicly accessible.

Glass about to be installed in study centre

Glass about to be installed in study centre

Kirstie and Heather installing Roman glass

Kirstie and Heather installing Roman glass

Seeing all the objects on open display shelves really makes an impact, and I’d not appreciated just how many of these vessels we have in our collections. Most of them are unguent bottles, probably used for storing and pouring perfumed oils, and it makes me think about those parts of history we are missing – especially the smell. Scents are so evocative and so closely linked to memories; we will never know exactly what these bottles contained, or what memories the smells conjured up for the people using them, but we can imagine…

Part of the glass display

Part of the glass display

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One comment

  1. God – how beautiful! I can’t imagine the hours! More pictures of the full display please…

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