Ancient Roman Ochre Glass Lentoid Flask


An ancient Roman lentoid flask, finely blown from ochre translucent glass. The vessel features a flat, lentoid body with a concave base. The shoulders taper in to cylindrical neck leading to a conical mouth with a folded rim. Beautiful iridescence and encrustation cover the surface.

Date: Date: Circa 4th Century AD
Provenance: Ex Abelita family collection, acquired 1980-2015.
Condition: Excellent condition, Striates and air pockets, formed by trapped air during the manufacturing process, are visible to the surface. Minor chip to neck.

In stock

SKU: LD-549 Category: Tag:

Glass was often the preferred material for storing expensive oils, perfumes, and medicines because it was not porous. The small neck 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. Most likely they were used as personal scent bottles, carrying expensive perfumes.

Iridescence is often used to date the glass, as it is a consequence of the natural ageing process. 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 Glass and Collecting Roman Glass.

Weight 107.6 g
Dimensions W 10.1 x H 14.9 cm



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