C. 300-500 AD. Late Roman. A pale blue-green double balsamarium comprised of two parallel conjoined tubes with an attached ‘bucket’ handle formed from a thick trail joined to the tubes below the rim. Glass was a major manufacturing industry in the Roman Empire, especially after the invention of glassblowing in the middle of the first century BC, when glass became used for a variety of purposes including vessels, jewellery and construction materials such as glass or tiles. Roman glassmaking reached the farthest corners of the Empire and flourished until about 400 AD, when the Roman Empire started to disintegrate, finally falling in the late 5th century AD. Balsamaria are small bottles intended for toiletries, especially perfumes, ointments, powders, balms, and oils. Double balsamaria like this example are traditionally associated with kohl, an ancient eye cosmetic, made by grinding stibnite for similar purposes to the charcoal used in mascara. Excellent condition; beautiful patina.
Size: L:170mm / W:60mm ; 30g
Provenance: From a private London collection; previously acquired on the European art Market before 2000.