Roman Blue Glass Jug with Trefoil Rim

£ 795.00

A very fine ancient Roman jug blown from translucent blue glass. The vessel features a cylindrical body, decorated with vertical ribbing, sitting upon a concave base. The shoulders taper into a long neck with wide out-splayed rim that has been folded into a decorative trefoil shape. This design was used for better control over the distribution of liquid that it contained. A single handle has been applied from the rim to the shoulder in the same blue-green coloured glass. Beautiful iridescence covers part of the body.

Date: Circa 4th-5th century AD
Provenance: Private collection, United Kingdom, formed 1970s onwards
Condition: Fine condition. Beautiful iridescence along with some earthly encrustations to the surface.

In stock

SKU: CY-152 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 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. Different minerals were added to create a variety of colours; the pale blue tint seen in this piece would have been created by adding copper. 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 49.4 g
Dimensions W 4.5 x H 9 cm



Reference: For similar: Bonhams Auction House, London, Antiquities, 28th April 2010, part of lot 231

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