Roman Yellow Marbled Glass Unguentarium

£ 600.00

A delicate Ancient Roman marbled unguentarium used as a vessel for holding liquids. The unguentarium is skillfully blown from yellow glass and features a large, pyriform shaped body with a short, narrow neck and out turned rim. The surface is smooth and compact with cream white striations and hues of amber, that create a marble-like effect.

Date: Circa 3rd - 4th century AD
Provenance: Ex S.M. collection, London, 1948 - 2000. Then, private collection belonging to a gentleman, the J.L collection.
Condition: Very fine condition.


Unguentaria have been repeatedly found at Roman and Hellenistic sites, the vessel was used to hold liquids and oils such as perfume and keep them fresh. Perfume was very popular in Rome; it was produced in many different forms including as a solid, powder or liquid. It was so well used that Cicero declared that ‘the right scent for a woman is none at all’, suggesting an excessiveness. The Roman people were able to use exotic scents which had been brought over with expanding trade to the East and which would display their social status. Different scents would also have been used for different social occasions. Perfumes would be stored in vessels such as this unguentarium because its long elongated neck would give control to the flow of the perfume when poured.

To find out more about Ancient Roman glass please visit our relevant blog post: Ancient Roman Glass.

Weight 11.1 g
Dimensions H 7 cm



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