Glass was often the preferred material for storing expensive oils, perfumes, and medicines because it was not porous. The small body and mouth of the vessels 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. The new technique allowed craftsmen to use smaller amounts of glass for each vessel and obtain much thinner walls, enabling the creation of medicine, incense, and perfume containers in new forms. Along with the unique shapes, different components were added to the hot glass to create a variety of colours. The yellow tint seen in this piece would have been created by adding antimony and lead.
Exquisite Roman Yellow Glass Flask with Aquamarine Handles
An extremely fine Roman flask blown from transparent yellow glass. The vessel features a piriform body tapering in towards a cylindrical neck leading to an out splayed, everted rim. The flask sits upon a concave foot which displays a small pontil mark. Two aquamarine handles have been applied from the neck to the shoulder. Each feature two loops, one above each other, leading down to crimped trails which end at the lower body. Delicate trailing, in light aquamarine, spirals down the neck, increasing in size, finishing in a thick band.
Provenance: Millon & Associés, Paris, 22 June 2012, lot 836 the acquired by The Nico F. Bijnsdorp Collection
Condition: Excellent condition, minor parts of the trailing around the neck now missing along with small chip to the crimping. Beautiful iridescence to the surface, sticker to the base of the previous owner.