This beaker is a fine example of a high-quality vessel made for use at formal meals. It was found in almost perfect condition in a burial with another glass vessel, a flagon in the standard blue-green colour. Most of the glass vessels that have survived intact from the Roman period have been preserved in graves.
Roman glass-makers were capable of producing a very wide range of colours, from deep, almost opaque tints to the clear glass seen here. The decoration of glass by engraving and cutting used methods closely related to those used by gem-engravers, namely metal points and wheels used with an abrasive powder.