Ancient Roman Iridescent Glass Jar

£ 300.00

A striking ancient Roman jar made from translucent aubergine-coloured glass. The vessel features a globular body with a slightly convex base. The body expands at the top into a cylindrical neck and wide mouth. A vivid, multi-coloured iridescence covers the exterior and interior of the vessel. A beautiful example of Roman glass craftsmanship.

Date: Circa 2nd-3rd Century AD
Provenance: Ex SM collection, London 1970-2010.
Condition: Excellent condition, with some earthly encrustations and iridescence covering the surface. Flaking to the iridescence. The piece stands on its own.


Product Code: RGS-77
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Glass was often the preferred material for storing expensive oils, perfumes, and medicines in antiquity because it was not porous. The small body and mouth allowed the user to carefully pour and control the amount of liquid dispensed. By the 1st century AD, the technique of glass-blowing had revolutionised the art of glass-making, allowing for the production of small medicine, incense, and perfume containers in new forms. Glass vessels are found frequently at Hellenistic and Roman sites, especially in cemeteries, and the liquids, which filled them, would have been gathered from all corners of the expansive Roman Empire.

To learn more about Roman glass, visit our relevant post: How It Was Made: Roman Glass.

Weight 34.55 g
Dimensions W 6 x H 6.3 cm

Blown Glass


Southern Europe

Reference: For a similar item, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, item 15.43.228

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