Roman Pale Blue Glass Jar


A pale blue glass jar featuring a broad, low rounded-bellied body with a wide, hollowed base. A short neck with a slight constriction at its base extends from the body into a flat, wide everted rim. Beautiful silvery iridescence to the inside of the vessel and some earthly encrustations.

Date: Circa 1st-3rd Century AD
Condition: Very fine.


SKU: CS-125 Category: Tags: , ,

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 to carefully 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. 

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: Collecting Roman Glass.

Weight 87.6 g
Dimensions W 8 x H 10.2 cm



Reference: For a similar item, The Metropolitan Museum, item number 17.194.132

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