Please note: The special exhibition Caspar David Friedrich: Infinite Landscapes is open Tuesday, Wednesday and Sunday, 9 am – 6 pm, with extended opening hours until 8 pm Tuesday thru Saturday.


Ancient Luxury in Glass and Marble
The Amphora from Olbia and Trapezophora from Ostia

19.12.2008 to 19.04.2009

Altes Museum
Altes Museum

Measuring 59.6 cm, the amphora from Olbia on the Black Sea is the largest surviving glass vessel from antiquity that was made before the invention of the blowpipe and the glass-blowing technique. Produced around 120-80 BC, the amphora represents the highpoint of early glass-forming. Friedrich von Gans donated the object to the Collection of Classical Antiquities in 1912.

But it was only after the slender vessel - fashioned out of decolourized, bubble-free, clear glass - was eventually restored in 1976 that its true beauty became obvious for all to see. The exact method of its production has been hotly disputed ever since. Josef Welzel, producer of cut glass and longtime teacher at the Glasfachschule Hadamar, set himself the challenge of creating a replica of the Berlin amphora. After weeks and months of perseverance, he gradually came closer to unlocking its secrets. Now the result of his toils will be presented in all its shining glory alongside the ancient original in the Altes Museum.