Ancient Cypriot Glass: Production, Reception, and the Collections at the Claremont Colleges

Milena R. Carothers


This thesis examines the collection of Cypriot glass stored in the basement at Scripps and its context throughout history. The first chapter focuses on the collection itself and includes a brief summary of the founding of the Mudd family’s Cyprus Mines Corporation, which led to the collection of the glass. The repatriation of the collection is also detailed. The second chapter examines the history of Cyprus, and how valuable resources such as copper led to trade on the island. A history of glass is given: how it was made, what it was made out of, and how it was used and appreciated at different times in history. The third chapter addresses the history of the glass trade and production on Cyprus. Island-specific shapes and production are explored. This chapter also looks at how glass was valued and used by different levels of society as glass production evolved and led to a saturated market. The fourth chapter focuses on five pieces selected from the Scripps and Mudd collections. These case studies include conservation condition reports. Physical description, condition, use, and similar examples in other collections are detailed. The final chapter addresses glass conservation. It contains an analysis of previous conservation interventions, descriptions of different types of weathering and degradation, and tips for stabilizing, storing, shipping, handling, and displaying the collection.