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Synopsis

For thousands of years an enigmatic and astonishingly beautiful piece of Roman art has captivated those who have come in contact with it.Made before the birth of Christ, the Portland Vase, as it is called, is renowned for both its beauty and its mystery.

In The Portland Vase, Robin Brooks takes us on a vivid journey across Europe and through the centuries, as this delicate piece of glass, less than ten inches in height, passes through the hands of a stunning cast of characters, including the first Roman emperor, Augustus; a notorious tomb raider; a reckless cardinal; a princess with a nasty gambling habit; the ceramics genius Josiah Wedgwood; the secretive Duchess of Portland; and a host of politicians, dilettantes, and scam artists.

Rich with passion, inspiration, jealousy, and endless speculation, the story of The Portland Vase spans more than two thousand years and remains one of the art world's greatest enigmas.

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