Glass was often the preferred material for storing expensive oils, perfumes, and medicines because it was not porous. The small body and mouth of the vessels 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, enabling the creation of medicine, incense, and perfume containers in new forms. Along with the unique shapes, different components were added to the hot glass to create a variety of colours. The light blue tint seen in this piece would have been created by adding copper.
Roman Light Blue Glass Jug
A finely modelled Roman pale blue glass jug with a rounded body, leading to a cylindrical neck and a funnel-shaped mouth. The flask sits upon a small uneven foot. A blue trailed handle has been applied from the body of the bottle to the rim. The body is decorated with vertical concave intents and trailings of glass have been applied at the base of the neck and around the wide mouth of the bottle. There is widespread pearlescent iridescence across the whole vessel and some natural encrustation.
Due to an uneven base, the item cannot stand on its own.
Provenance: From a London collection, acquired in the 1970s
Condition: Very fine. Some areas of encrustation and iridescence. Minor repair on one side.