A beautiful Ancient Roman jar, blown from aubergine-coloured glass. It features a concave base which displays a pontil mark, leading to a globular body with a short, slightly inverted neck. The vessel is further enriched with horizontal concentric wheel-cut markings, spaced evenly in three bands across the body. Earthly encrustation is visible to the interior and exterior along with blue iridescence to the surface.
Date: Circa 1st Century AD Provenance: Acquired 1970-1999. London collection of the late Mr S.M., thence by descent. Condition: Extremely fine condition. Spots of iridescence on the surface.
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 allowing the vessels to have 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. 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.
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