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CHAPTER XI.

AMONG GLASS, STAINED GLASS, ENCAUSTIC TILES,

TAPESTRY, ETC.

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STAINED glass seems to date back in our country to about the twelfth century, but that glass itself was made here some centuries before that time, there can scarcely be a doubt. It is well known that glass, both opaque and transparent, coloured and colourless, was made by the Egyptians between three and four thousand years ago; it was known to the Assyrians, the Greeks, and the Etruscans; and made, to a high degree of perfection, by the Romans. In our own country there is a possibility that the art was known at a somewhat late period—indeed, after its subjugation by the armies of Rome—to the Celtic population ; beads of that material being found with undoubted ancient British remains. These however may, with almost a degree of certainty, be considered of Roman manufacture. Imperforate beads of this kind, of large size, have been found at Adderbury and other places. One is shown in Fig. 248. What the use of these large imperforate beads was, if beads they can in consequence be called, remains a mystery. The one engraved is of a dark green glass mottled or speckled with white; the engraving is its actual size. Roman beads of glass are not uncommon. Of these I have spoken in another chapter.

Traces of a Roman glass manufactory have been found near Brighton, on the coast between Kemp

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town and Rottingdean. The discovery was made in 1848 by Dr. Guest, who found several lumps of the crude glass of various colours—amethyst, amber, emerald green, and deep morone. Some of these lumps, which had long been found on the spot,

“double the size of a man's fist,” and a lapidary in Brighton had for years been in the habit of cutting them up and polishing small portions for setting in brooches, etc. Evidently these lumps are part of the massæ made in the manner described by Pliny, and ready to be sent to the different glass

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workers in other parts of the kingdom. Glass vessels of the Romano-British period are frequently met with, but usually, except in the case of the

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sepulchral vessels, in a fragmentary state. The glass sepulchral vessels are usually bottle-shaped,

sometimes round, but more commonly square, with necks, and one or two handles (Fig. 251). They contained the calcined bones of the dead. Through these “bottles” having been protected when buried, in the manner shown in Fig. 252, where the whole interment is shown, they are occasionally found in a perfect state. Cups or bowls, drinking-glasses, small bottles for holding unguents or aromatics, and other vessels in glass of this period, are also found.

Some of the bowls are decorated with figures or other ornaments in relief. Window glass of this period is also found; notably are

some examples which Fig. 253.

I discovered in a Roman villa excavated by myself in Oxfordshire. Inscriptions sometimes occur on these cups, such as BIBE FELICITER (“ drink with good luck !”), BIBE ET VIVAS (“ drink that you may live !"), VIVAS BIBERE (“may you live to drink !"). Somewhat similar inscriptions now and then occur on pottery -VIVAS (“live !'), AVE (“hail !'), BIBE ( drink !"), IMPLE (“ fill!”), EX HOC AMICI BIBVNT (“out of this cup, friends, drink!"), a charming motto for a “ loving cup

”—and so on; and the same feeling was carried on in the Anglo-Saxon WÆS HÆL (“ be thou in health !"), from which our wassail is derived. From drinking from "cups," whether of glass,

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