Ancient Roman Glass Unguentarium

£ 145.00

An Ancient Roman unguentarium made from colourless glass. The glass features a squat globular body with a long thin cylindrical neck, ending with a wide folded over rim. The vessel sits on a small circular base with a slightly indented pontil mark, indicating that the glass was blown freehand.

Date: Circa 1st - 3rd Century AD
Condition: Fine condition. Small chip to lid. Earthyl encrustation on inner and outer surfaces.


SKU: BL-19 Category: Tag:

Unguentaria were amongst the most common objects of Roman blown glass: produced in large numbers, they were items of everyday use for keeping expensive unguents and cosmetic oils. By the 1st century AD, the technique of glass-blowing had revolutionised the art of glass-making. The new technique allowed craftsmen to use smaller amounts of glass for each vessel and obtain much thinner walls, so enabling the creation of small medicine, incense, and perfume containers in new forms. The small body and mouth allowed the user carefully to pour and control the amount of liquid dispensed, and glass was the material of choice for storing the oils because it was not porous. These small glass (or ceramic) 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 Ancient Roman glass please visit our relevant blog post: Ancient Glass.

Weight 3.2 g
Dimensions W 2.1 x H 3.8 cm



Reference: For a similar item,The British Museum, item 1856,1226.1241

You may also like…