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.
Roman Two-Handled Amphora Flask
An Ancient Roman pale blue glass flask in the shape of an amphora with two thin applied handles, extending from the rim to the shoulders. The vessel stands on a round and flattened foot. The vessel is blown with the finest skill, mixing glasses of different colour, from cream-like white to clear blue, resulting in a beautiful surface texture. Incrustations and iridescences on the jug’s surface have created a lovely marbled pattern.
Provenance: Ex. Jon Lawton collection, London; formerly from the Rizzi collection, London.
Condition: Extremely fine, complete and intact.