Roman Light Blue Glass Bottle


An exquisite and rare Roman octagonal bottle, made of pale turquoise glass. The vessel is squat in form, with a single applied handle extending from the top of the rim to the rounded shoulders. The top of the neck and the flat rim lean slightly to the side. The base is unusually decorated with an eight-pointed star and a smaller, four-pointed star to the centre.

Date: Circa 2nd-3rd century AD.
Provenance: Private Mayfair, London collection, SM.
Condition: Very Fine, complete and intact. Earthly encrustation and a light patination visible to the surface.

In stock

This stunning piece shows its original translucency: 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.

Many items of ancient glassware were designed for tableware use, in particular for carrying and serving water and wine at banquets. Bottles were one of the most frequently used containers, and existed in different dimensions and shapes. This variety was allowed by the technique of glass-blowing, which had revolutionised the art of glass-making by the first century AD.

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


Weight 123.1 g
Dimensions H 13.5 cm


Reference: The Metropolitan Museum, New York, item 74.51.110

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