Roman Pale Blue Glass Unguentarium


A Roman Unguentarium blown from translucent pale blue featuring a long cylindrical neck leading to a piriform shaped body. The neck tapers outwards to an everted rim, folded over and slightly flattened. The base is flattened and slightly concave in the centre. Beautiful iridescence can be seen across the surface along with earthly encrustation to the interior.

Date: Circa 2nd-3rd century AD
Condition: Excellent condition.


SKU: LD-373 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 Roman glass, please see our relevant blog post: Ancient Roman Glass and Collecting Roman Glass.

Weight 18.9 g
Dimensions W 3.5 x H 10.2 cm



Reference: For a similar item,The British Museum, item 1901.,0413.3010

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