Roman Glass Cylindrical Bottle


A Roman free-blown, cylindrical bottle in pale green glass. The vessel has a short neck leading to a wide, everted rim, and a single handle extends from just below the rim to the shoulders. The bottle stands on a flat base, which is slightly everted in the centre. This vessel is in wonderful condition, with iridescence particularly to the handle.

Date: 3rd - 4th Century AD
Condition: Very fine condition, complete and intact.


SKU: AS-3577 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 carefully to 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: Collecting Roman Glass.

Weight 89 g
Dimensions H 14 cm



Reference: Similar items: Susan B. Matheson, Ancient Glass in the Yale University Art Gallery, items 221-225.

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