ANCIENT ROMAN IRIDESCENT UNGUENTARIUM
Measurements: 10 cm - height
Description: A Roman pale green unguentarium featuring a piriform body, slight constriction at the base of the cylindrical neck, everted folded rim and flattened base. Unguentaria were small perfume or cosmetics bottles made of blown glass. They are the most common items of Roman blown glass, equally used in everyday life or deposited as grave goods. This piece has the colour of the glass in its natural state - bluish green that resulted from the iron oxide present in the silica or the sand. Most of the Roman glassware looked like this, while de-colorants such as manganese or antimony had to be added in order to produce transparent glass. Although the iridescence of this piece is a result of chemical processes after the vessel was buried, it provides it a nice glow.
Reference: Hayes, J.W., Roman and Pre-Roman Glass in Royal Ontario Museum, 1975, nos. 107, 252.
Period: 1st - 2nd century AD
Condition: Very fine. Repairs to the bottom of the vessel - hairline cracks visible. Minimal repairs, otherwise intact. Encrustations and iridescence cover the surface.
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