Roman Blue Glass Unguentarium


A beautiful Ancient Roman translucent blue glass unguentarium featuring a larger pyriform body and a short, narrow neck leading to a folded, flaring rim. The glass displays a gorgeous and mesmerizing bright cobalt blue colour, further enriched by an applied opaque light blue glass spiral trail decoration.

Date: Circa 1st-2nd Century AD
Provenance: Ex. Jon Lawton collection, London; formerly from S.M collection, 1948-2000, London.
Condition: Fine, with minor chip to the rim and part of the applied spiral trail missing. Some earthly encrustations to the surface.


Unguentaria were small perfume or cosmetics bottles made of blown glass. They were extremely popular throughout the Roman Empire, since they contained perfume and oil, considered precious at the time and often used both in private life and public ceremonies. These type of vessels were probably used in funerary and burial rituals, hence their frequent occurrence in archaeological excavations of ancient cemeteries.

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

Weight 7.5 g
Dimensions H 10 cm