The Romans were some of the earliest manipulators of glass, developing glass blowing techniques and using these pieces for cosmetics, dining and ceremonies. From around 70AD it was this clear glass that was used for the finest pieces and seen as the most exclusive and expensive. However, pattern showed skilled so was still valued highly, especially when used with the light coloured glass.

A flask like this was likely used for holding a wealthy Roman’s cosmetics.

Out of stock


300-450 AD. Late Roman. Rare whiteish-grey glass jar with cylindrical neck, flaring shoulders and rounded body; elaborate green trailed decoration runs horizontally around the neck and shoulder; additional horizontal and zig-zag trails have been marvered (rolled in) to the vessel’s body. 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. Vessels like this one would probably have been used for perfumes, oils (used as soap) and/or medicines in antiquity. Good condition.

Size: L:180mm / W:65mm ; 115g

Provenance: Property of a London gallery, previously in old British collection formed in the 1980s.

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