Roman Glass Candlestick Unguentarium


An elegant Roman glass candlestick unguentarium, used to store precious oils or perfumes in antiquity. The candlestick features  a flat rim, a tall, long neck merging into a domed body and a flattened base. The neck twists slightly just before the neck meets the wide everted rim. Iridescences cover the surface of the clear glass, along with some earthly accretions.

Date: Circa 2nd - 3rd Century AD
Condition: Good condition. Earthly encrustation to inner and outer surfaces.


SKU: BL-34 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 Glass.

Weight 37.7 g
Dimensions L 16.2 x W 5.8 cm
Choice of item





Reference: For a similar item,The Metropolitan Museum, item 74.51.91

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