Ancient Roman Green Glass Candlestick Unguentarium

£ 295.00

A squat ancient Roman candlestick unguentarium, blown from translucent green glass. A short, gently domed base leads to a long neck, which folds out to a wide, flattened rim. The base is slightly indented. There is mother-of-pearl iridescence and earthly encrustation visible on both the inner and outer surfaces.

Date: Circa 1st - 4th Century AD
Condition: Very fine. Earthly encrustations to the outer and inner surfaces.

In stock

SKU: BL-36 Category: Tags: ,

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 to carefully pour and control the amount of liquid dispensed. 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 Roman Glass.

Weight 126.5 g
Dimensions L 8.2 x W 5.2 cm



Reference: For a similar item: Bonhams, London, Antiquities Auction, 3rd July 2019, lot 11

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