An elegant example of a Roman glass double chambered balsamarium, made from light blue translucent glass, heavily covered in earthly encrustation. The body widens at the base and at the mouths, and is decorated with applied spiral trails along all its length. Two small handles have been applied to the top, to allow for the careful handling of the contents.
Date: Circa 3rd-4th Century AD Condition: Very fine, complete and intact. Earthly accretions to the surface. The item comes with custom-made stand.
The balsamarium is a variant of the typical Roman glass unguentarium. Produced in large numbers, they were items of everyday use for holding and storing perfumed oils, as well as other expensive liquids and powders. The small body and mouth allowed the user to carefully pour and control the amount of liquid dispensed. By the 1st century AD, the technique of glass-blowing had revolutionised the art of glass-making, allowing for the production of small medicine, incense, and perfume containers in new forms. Glass was often the preferred material for storing oils because it was not porous. These small glass bottles are found frequently at Hellenistic and Roman sites, especially in cemeteries, and the perfumes which filled them would have been gathered from all corners of the expansive Roman Empire.
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