Roman Double Balsamarium with Quadruple Handles


A Roman double-flask balsamarium made of thick green glass, with complex four sets of double-looped handles attached towards the rim. The body widens towards the base, and is decorated with applied spiral trail. The vessel is covered with beautiful red encrustations.

Date: 4th - 5th Century AD
Condition: Very fine condition, complete and intact.


SKU: AS-3348 Category: Tags: , ,

The balsamarium is a variant of the typical Roman glass unguentarium. Produced in large numbers, they were items of every day use for holding and storing perfumed oils, as well as other expensive liquids and powders. The small body and mouth allowed the user carefully to 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.

To find out more about Roman glass please see our relevant blog post: Collecting Roman Glass.

Weight 88.3 g
Dimensions H 11.2 cm



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