Ancient Roman Pale Green Glass Jug


An Ancient Roman jug blown from pale green glass. The vessel features a large funnel-shaped mouth with a tubular rim and a narrow neck, tapering into a horizontal shoulder. The bulbous body is decorated by regular vertical ribs which fade into the concave base. A single handle is drawn up and outwards from the shoulder and pressed onto the rim, connecting the body and mouth for ease of use. Blowing striations and air bubbles formed during the production process are visible on the body.

Date: 2nd – 4th Century AD
Condition: Very good condition. Iridescence and some weathering to the surface.


SKU: MG-87 Category: Tags: ,

Many items of ancient glassware were designed for tableware use, in particular for carrying and serving water and wine at banquets. Jugs, like this example, were one of the most frequently used containers, and existed in different dimensions and shapes.

The variety of shapes and sizes seen in ancient glassware was achieved through the technique of glassblowing, which by the 1stcentury AD had revolutionised the art of glassmaking. It allowed for easier manipulation of the glass, but also for a quicker paced production, as 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 green tint seen in this piece would have been created by adding iron and changing the oxygen levels. 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 92.2 g
Dimensions W 6.2 x H 9.7 cm



Reference: For a similar item, please see The Metropolitan Museum, item 15.43.239

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