ROMAN MINIATURE TRANSLUCENT UNGUENTARIUM
Measurements: 6 cm – height
Description: An elegant blown glass pale blue unguentarium with a pumpkin-shaped body, about one third of its total height, with a flattened base, a long tubular neck smoothly growing out of the body and converging at the top. Flaring mouth features a pronounced rim and is of slightly irregular shape. The vessel features some iridescence, which is especially prominent on the rim. The glass is eggshell thin demonstrating extraordinary craftsmanship of ancient glass blowers. These types of vessels are a rare find in intact condition.
Unguentaria were one of the most common objects of Roman blown glass produced in large numbers. They were items of everyday use for keeping expensive perfumes and cosmetics. The natural bluish green colour of the glass of this vessel was modified in order to achieve the transparency. This was done by adding manganese or antimony to the primary glass mix.
Reference: Hayes, W. J., Roman and Pre-Roman Glass in the Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto, 1975, no. 492.
Matheson, S. B., Ancient Glass in the Yale University of Art Gallery, Meriden, 1980, no. 71.
Period: 1st – 2nd century AD
Condition: Very fine. Intact. With slightly flaked of layer of iridescence on the neck and small chip to the edge of the rim. Minor earthy encrustations.
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