Roman Yellow Glass Sprinkler Flask

£ 800.00

An Ancient Roman yellow blown glass flask with a rounded body, leading to a cylindrical neck and a wide, ridged lip. The globular body is skillfully blown creating a light ribbed pattern.  Inside the flask, within the neck, there is a folded diaphragm with a constricted opening.  There is widespread iridescence across the whole vessel and some natural encrustation.

Date: Circa 2nd – 4th century AD
Condition: Very fine. Some areas of encrustation and iridescence.

In stock

SKU: AH-694 Category: Tags: ,

Sprinkler flasks can be identified by the small inner-disk at the bottom of the neck. This disk has one small hole to allow precious liquids to be used sparingly, and the liquid was most likely perfumed oil for beautification. A further indication that the vessel was used to contain liquids is its wide mouth, which would have facilitated the easy and careful pouring of liquids into and out of the jar.

Glass production evolved during the Roman Empire with the introduction of glassblowing which allowed for a great variety of different shapes and styles to be constructed. The technique allowed for easier manipulation of the glass into more intricate designs with an assortment of functions. Glassblowing also allowed for a quicker paced production, the hot glass would be blown into a mould and then removed whilst still hot so that the glass maker could still work on it.

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. The new technique allowed craftsmen to use smaller amounts of glass for each vessel and obtain much thinner walls, so enabling the creation 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. 

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

Weight 71 g
Dimensions L 9 x H 8.8 cm



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