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Vitrum Annulare, Pastes

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VITRUM ANNULARE.
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drill and the diamond-point to produce the cameo. Such a vase
is the subject of the epigram (Anthol. ix. 749) :—
" Why Cupid on the cup ? Enough for wine To inflame the heart : why fire with fire combine ?"
Though perfect vases in this style are the rarest of the rare, yet fragments of such are not uncommon : all that have come under my observation display the same marvellous taste in the design and equal delicacy of finish."
Glass vessels thus embellished were the " toreumata vitri " of Martial (xii. 74, xiv. 94), in whose age the word had lost, with the loss of the art, its proper meaning of a chasing in metal, and come to imply a relievo on a gem or paste ; in short, our . Compared with the fashionable Murrhina, these glasses, deriving their sole value from the engraver's hand, were of but trifling cost and fell within the moans of our necessitous poet :—
" Cheap vulgar chasings we in glass alone That dares to counterfeit the precious stone ; Yet fur superior to the crystal rare, Not boiling water flaws our substance clear."
" See the sweet groups that on the goblet smile— Fruits of the taste that drinks the tepid Nile. Ah ! whilst he strives to add another grace, How oft the artist spoils the finished vase."
Finger-rings formed entirely in glass are known ; the shank of a twisted pattern imitates in colour the Agate ; they bear a mask in relief, usually in green, representing a Plasma . One fell into my hands when in Home, recently found, which exactly corresponds with that given by Caylus (ii. pi. 89). From the fragile of the substance, perfect examples are extremely un­common.
A singular variety of the antique paste, something between a mosaic and a , is afforded by those disks, the size of ring-
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
       
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King. Natural History of Precious Stones.