Roman Amber Glass Jug


A very fine ancient Roman jug blown from translucent amber glass. The vessel features a bulbous body which sits upon a slightly flattened base. The shoulders taper in to a narrow cylindrical neck leading to a folded rim. The piece is enriched with a raised, rounded, horizontal ridge along the shoulders. A single handle has been applied to the jug in the same coloured glass with its three-pronged terminal attached to the ridge, then conjoined and drawn up to the rim where it was folded vertically to form a thumb rest. Beautiful iridescence covers part of the body.

Date: Circa 2nd century AD
Provenance: Ex S.M collection, London, acquired 1970s-2010.
Condition: Very fine condition. Beautiful iridescence along with slight encrustations visible on the surface.

In stock

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 1st century 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. 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 52.8 g
Dimensions W 5.9 x H 10.6 cm




Reference: For a similar item,The Science Museum Group, item A628829

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