Roman Glass Cosmetic Kohl Flask


A fine Ancient Roman cosmetic container blown from pale green glass. The vessel features a slender flaring body which stands on an indented and flattened base. The slender neck flares outwards to a folded rim. A single linear tool-mark can be seen to the inside. Two handles have been applied to the cylindrical body, then drawn up and pressed onto the everted rim. Another flattened handle has also been applied, joining the side handles at the rim. The vessel is covered in a mottled iridescence.

Date: Circa 4th Century AD
Condition: Very good condition. Some iridescence and encrustation consistent with age.

In stock

SKU: AH-1016 Category: Tags: ,

Glass production evolved during the Roman Empire with the introduction of glassblowing, which allowed for a great variety of different shapes and styles to be constructed. The technique allowed for easier manipulation of the glass into more intricate designs allowing the vessels to have an assortment of functions. Glassblowing also allowed for a quicker paced production, the hot glass would be blown into a mould and then removed whilst still hot so that the glass maker could still work on it. Different minerals were added to create a variety of colours, changing the natural aqua glass to a multitude of colours. The iridescence on ancient Roman glass was unintentional, and was caused by weathering on its surface. The extent to which a glass object weathers depends mainly on the burial conditions; the humidity, heat, and type of soil in which the glass was buried all affect its preservation.

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

Weight 53.5 g
Dimensions W 6.1 x H 12.3 cm



Reference: For a similar item, please see The Metropolitan Museum, item 81.10.183

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