Ancient Roman Yellow Glass Flask

£ 175.00

A fine Ancient Roman flask blown from yellow glass. The vessel stands on a flat concave base leading into a globular body with a narrow cylindrical neck, opening at the top into a funnel-shaped mouth with a prominent rim. The small body and mouth were ideal for the slow and careful pouring of the expensive perfumes and cosmetic oils that this vessel would have contained. Some blowing striations are visible on the vessel, particularly on the neck, from the glass production.

Date: 2nd– 3rd Century AD
Condition: Very good condition. Iridescence, weathering and some earthy encrustations to the surface.


SKU: MG-88 Category: Tags: , ,

Glass production evolved during the Roman Empire with the introduction of glassblowing, which allowed for a great variety of different shapes and styles to be constructed. The technique allowed for easier manipulation of the glass into more intricate designs allowing the vessels to have an assortment of functions. Glassblowing also allowed for a quicker paced production, the hot glass would be blown into a mould and then removed whilst still hot so that the glass maker could still work on it. Different minerals were added to create a variety of colours; the yellow tint seen in this piece would have been created by adding lead and changing the oxygen levels. 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 36.1 g
Dimensions W 5.2 x H 9 cm



Reference: For a similar item, please see The Metropolitan Museum, item 74.51.191

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