Roman Green Glass Sprinkler Flask


A Roman sprinkler flask made from translucent dark green glass. The bottle features a squat, piriform body that leads to a short, cylindrical neck. The neck flares outwards to an uneven, rounded rim, with a folded flange below. The mouth of the flask is broad to allow for the smooth flow of liquid. The body tapers inwards at the base, which is flattened and slightly concave at the centre. There are eight protruding ribs, running vertically across the flask’s body, with horizontal indentations to each. The folded diaphragm within the neck is pierced by a single hole, to allow liquids to slowly pass through.

Date: Circa 1st century AD
Condition: Very fine condition. Tool mark to the neck. Small chip to one of the ribs. Some areas of iridescence and encrustation within the diaphragm..


SKU: AH-1012 Category: Tags: , ,

Glass was often the preferred material for storing expensive oils, perfumes, and medicines because it was not porous. 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. Designed with a constriction on the inside of the neck, it permitted only a drop of liquid to pass through at a time, hence the term ‘sprinkler’ or ‘dropper’ flask. The small body and mouth allowed the user to carefully pour and control the amount of expensive liquid dispensed.  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.

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

Weight 58.8 g
Dimensions W 7.7 x H 8.3 cm



Reference: For Similar: The Metropolitan Museum, New York, item 81.10.81

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