Byzantine Green Glass Jar with Cross


An extremely fine Byzantine glass small jar, also known as unguentarium, mould-blown in a beautiful yellow-green colour. The glass features a round body, cylindrical neck and folded rim. The vessel’s body is decorated by ribbed bands in relief and concave knobs. Further enrichment includes a large cross moulded to the vessel’s base. The beautiful yellow-green colour seen on the glass would have been created by adding lead to the molten glass.

Date: Circa 5th - 8th Century AD
Condition: Extremely fine, complete and intact. Some earthly encrustations to the surface.


SKU: FP-190 Category: Tags: , ,

Small glass bottles, such as this fine example, were extremely popular throughout the Roman and Byzantine, since they contained perfume and oil, considered precious at the time and often used both in private life and public ceremonies. This type of vessels was probably used in funerary and burial rituals, hence their frequent occurrence in archaeological excavations of ancient cemeteries. Most of the Byzantine glass workshops were in Thessaloniki, a centre of production from the late Roman imperial period onwards. Decorative motives driven from Christianity were extremely popular in Byzantine art. As seen on this magnificent example of Byzantine glass, the Christian cross has been used to decorate the base of the vessel’s.

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

Weight 62.5 g
Dimensions W 5.4 x H 6.7 cm



You may also like…