Last Updated: Sep 28, 2016     Views: 38

The following book by Henderson includes information about "cobalt coloration in glass" on pages 69-75 (section as well as information about the "health-giving properties of lapis" - imitated in glass (Chapters 5-6).

Henderson, Julian. Ancient glass: an interdisciplinary exploration. Cambridge; New York: Cambridge University Press, 2013. xx, 433 p. Note: Table of Contents: 1. Glass as a material: a technological background in faience, pottery and metal?;  2. Ways to flux silica: ashes and minerals;  3. Silica, lime and glass colorants;  4. Glass chemical compositions;  5. Early glass in the Middle East and Europe: innovation, archeology and the contexts for production and use; 6. Early glass in the Middle East and Europe: scientific analysis;  7. Hellenistic to early Roman glass: a change from small- to large-scale production?;  8. Late Hellenistic and early Roman glass: scientific studies;  9. Islamic glass: technological continuity and innovation; 10. Islamic glass: scientific research; 11. The provenance of ancient glass; 12. Conclusions. Also includes extensive information about raw materials. Location: Stacks; Call Number: TP850 .H49

"Cobalt was used as a colourant in glasses, glazes, faience and enamels. Cobalt blue glass was first manufactured in the Bronze Age in imitation of lapis lazuli, a stone that was considered to have had health-giving properties (see Chapters 5 and 6). Much later, ground lapis lauli was used as an opacifier in enamel that was painted onto Islamic (Mamluk) glassware, including mosque lamps (as discussed her and in Chapter 10)." p. 69.

Henderson includes a great deal of information about glassmaking capabilities as well as social/cultural aspects. There are numerous references to previous studies of cobalt glass in Henderson's text.

Another useful new resource is:

Shortland, Andrew J. Lapis lazuli from the kiln: glass and glassmaking in the late Bronze Age. Leuven: Leuven University Press, 2012. 260 p.  "This book examines the history of the first glass, from its early sporadic occurrence, through the height of its production in the late second millennium BC, to its disappearance at the end of that millennium. It draws on an exceptionally wide range of sources including ancient texts detailing recipes and trade in glass, iconographic depictions in tombs and temples, archeological excavation of the most important sites [including Amarna and Qantir], and the description of the glass objects themselves. The area covered includes the heart of glassmaking and use in Egypt and the Near East, and to a lesser extent those areas were [sic] glass might have been traded, for example the Levant and the Mycenaean Aegean. It also considers the life of the glassmaker, his or her place in society and relationship to other industries"--P. [4] of cover. (Studies in archeological sciences; 2.) Includes bibliographical references (p. [215]-222).  Location: Stacks; Call Number: TP850 .S55

“New Publications: Studies in Archeological Sciences: 'Lapis Lazuli from the Kiln': Late Bronze Age Glass and Glassmaking.” Glass News, no. 28 (July 2010), p. 11. Association for the History of Glass Ltd. Brief review of the book by Andrew Shortland. PER NK5106.G54

If you wish to obtain copies of library items, please contact your local library. The Rakow Research Library is a member of the Online Computer Library Center (OCLC). Your library can contact us through OCLC or they may send an Interlibrary Loan form to us by e-mail. We send copies of articles and will also loan certain books if a second copy is available in the library collection. Books are loaned for a four week period. For further information, please see our web page:

Please let me know if you would like me to look for additional resources.


Related Topics

Contact Us

Ask a Glass Question
Provide Your Contact Information
Fields marked with * are required.