Ancient Roman Iridescent Glass Flask


An Ancient Roman pale blue glass flask featuring an everted tubular rim folded over the small funnel-shaped mouth. An additional decorative glass band sits upon the space where the neck and body meet. The vessel’s narrow neck expands shortly into a cylindrical shape, tapering as it comes to the bottom. Iridescence  and some earthy encrustations cover the surface.

Date: 1st – 3rd Century AD
Condition: Very fine condition.


SKU: SA-10 Category: Tag:

Glass was often the preferred material for storing expensive oils, perfumes, and medicines because it was not porous. The small body and mouth allowed the user to carefully pour and control the amount of liquid dispensed. By the 1st century AD, the technique of glass-blowing had revolutionised the art of glass-making, allowing for the production of small medicine, incense, and perfume containers in new forms. These small glass bottles are found frequently at Hellenistic and Roman sites, especially in cemeteries, and the liquids which filled them would have been gathered from all corners of the expansive Roman Empire. The iridescence on ancient Roman glass was unintentional, and was caused by weathering on its surface. The extent to which a glass object weathers depends mainly on the burial conditions; however, the humidity, heat, and type of soil in which the glass was buried also all affect its preservation.

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

Weight 12.5 g
Dimensions W 3.5 x H 9.4 cm



You may also like…