Roman Glass Unguentarium Perfume Bottle

£ 225.00

An elegant Roman unguentarium blown from pale ‘colourless’ glass and most likely used as a perfume bottle. The vessel features a flattened rim and a long, narrow cylindrical neck which flares outwards towards the body. The bottom of the bend curves inwards and ends in a flat base. Colourful iridescence covers some of the surface along with earthly encrustation.

Date: Circa 1st - 3rd century AD
Condition: Excellent condition. 13.4cm height including the stand.


SKU: AH-1072 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 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 Roman Glass.

Weight 8.7 g
Dimensions W 2.7 x H 11.4 cm



Reference: For a similar item,The British Museum, London, item 1901,0413.3014

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