Ancient Roman Glass Jar with Multiple Handles


An exceptional Ancient Roman jar blown from pale blue glass. The vessel stands on a short foot, which curves into a concave base. Its conical body rises from the flared foot and folds inwards before tapering into a short neck. Sixteen dark blue handles have been applied to the shoulder, drawn up and pressed onto the accentuated flat rim. Trailing in the same dark blue runs around the neck further enriching the vessel.

Date: Circa 3rd - 4th Century AD
Condition: Very good condition. A small crack to the shoulder. Beautiful iridescence and weathering to the surface.

In stock

SKU: MG-82 Category: Tags: , ,

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. Different minerals were added to create a variety of colours; the blue tint seen in this piece would have been created by adding cobalt oxide and copper oxide. 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: Ancient Roman Glass and Collecting Roman Glass.

Weight 154.2 g
Dimensions W 10.5 x H 7.6 cm




Reference: For a similar item, please see The Metropolitan Museum, item 1975.1.1597

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