Roman Pale Green Glass Sprinkler Flask


An Ancient Roman sprinkler flask made of very pale green glass: it has a globular body and cylindrical neck, with row of raised ribs where the base (which is slightly inverted at the centre) meets the body. The flaring mouth is attached to the body on the neck, with only a tiny hole to let through the liquid stored inside. Most of the flask is covered with earthy deposits and encrustations, with some areas of iridescence.

Date: 3rd Century AD
Condition: Fine condition; complete and intact, extensively covered with light encrustations.

In stock

SKU: AS-1566 Category: Tags: ,

Flasks like this were designed with a constriction on the inside of the neck. This permitted only a drop of liquid to pass through at a time, hence the term ‘sprinkler’ or ‘dropper’ flask.

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 50 g
Dimensions H 8 cm



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