Monday, April 03, 2006

The Portland Vase-

We just got a great little remainder title in- The Portland Vase -The Extraordinary Odyssey of a Mysterious Roman Treasure by Robin Brooks. The vase is a marvelous piece of ancient cameo glass, intricately carved by modern standards, to say nothing of the problems it must have presented for ancient Roman glass carvers.

"Created for an Emperor, exhumed from a burial ground, coveted, traded, smashed, restored, and stuffed full of incident and intrigue, the Portland Vase- the most famous of all Roman antiquities- has captivated everyone who has come into contact with it."

There was Fabrizio Lazzaro, the archeologist/tomb robber who discovered it, Pope Urban VIII who wanted to acquire it, the Princess of Palestrina who supported her gambling by selling it, the Duchess of Portland, who owned it in secret yet gave it a name, Josiah Wedgwood, whose intricate copies finished the job of immortalizing it, the madman who smashed it to bits, and the restorers who managed to piece it back together... all those figures, and more, dance across the glassy stage.

Published by HarperCollins in 2004. Hardcover, 6"x8.5", 250 pages, dj. Published at $24.95. Available now for $10.00.

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