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The Portland Vase (Objects in Focus)

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The Portland Vase (Objects in Focus)


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The Portland Vase is the most famous cameo-glass vessel from antiquity, probably made during the reign of the Roman Emperor Augustus (27BC – AD14). The scenes on the vessel have long perplexed and enchanted in equal measure. The subject is clearly one of love and marriage, but who are the figures and are they historical or mythological? This book offers an exciting new reading of the vase, setting it in the context of the dramatic relationships between the houses of Octavian, Antony and Cleopatra. It also explores the lively history of the vase, from the earliest records in Italy in 1601, to its purchase by Sir William Hamilton and the dukes of Portland, and its abiding influence on British craftsmen such as Josiah Wedgwood whose copies helped to make it famous.

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