Ancient Roman Blue Glass Flask

£ 3,000.00

An exquisite deep cobalt blue moulded glass flask from the Roman Empire. The flask features an oval body, a visible seam on either side of which, meeting at the flat base. A long thin neck ends in an out folded rim. This beautiful flask features a central panel of foliate decoration, between other two comprising ribbed detail. An incredibly charming example of Ancient Roman glass, featuring a beautiful visual display and a luminous silvery-light blue iridescence which further embellishes the item.

Date: Circa 1st-3rd Century AD.
Provenance: Ex S.M. collection, London, 1948-2000.
Condition: Extremely fine, some earthly deposits.
Product Code: RGS-58
Category: Tags: , ,

This little flask was most likely an unguentarium, a small perfume or cosmetics bottle made of blown glass. They were extremely popular throughout the Roman Empire, since they contained perfume and oil, considered precious at the time and often used both in private life and public ceremonies. This type of vessels was probably used in funerary and burial rituals, hence their frequent occurrence in archaeological excavations of ancient cemeteries. The majority of Roman glass vessels were modelled in bluish-green translucent colour, which resulted from the iron oxide present in the silica or the sand. However other metal oxides were added to the glass to give it different bright colours; in the case of this beautiful example, cobalt would have been added to the glass to create an intense royal blue colouration.

To discover more about the types and uses of unguentaria, please visit our relevant blog post: Roman Glass: Unguentaria and Cosmetics.


Dimensions W 3.5 x H 7.5 cm

Southern Europe


Moulded Glass

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