Exquisite Sidonian Amber Glass Juglet

£ 1,800.00

An exceptionally fine and rare Ancient Roman glass juglet, mould-blown in bright amber-yellow colour, with details, such as the rim and handle, drawn and tolled from a rod of dark blue glass. The vessel features a flattened base, pyriform body, shorty cylindrical neck and folded rim. The vessel’s body is enriched by a moulded decoration, comprising two bands of a curvilinear motives, framing a scrolls pattern, typical of Sidonian glassware production. The amber colour on this beautiful piece has been created by adding iron-sulphur to the molten glass.

Date: Circa 1st-4th Century AD
Provenance: Ex private collection, SM, London, 1970-1999; a single named sale of the collection was held at Christies New York.
Condition: Fine, repaired crack to the handle.
Product Code: RGS-47

In ancient times, Sidon was one of the oldest and richest Phoenician cities and was renewed for its metal and glass working techniques, even before the Roman conquest in 64 BC. The invention of glassblowing, which revolutionised completely the production of glass in the ancient world, finds its birthplace in the eastern borders of the Roman Empire, modern day Lebanon, Israel and Palestine. Many ancient historians believed Sidon to be the birthplace of glassblowing technique. The glass vessels produced in the region display high refinement and were extremely valued by the contemporaries.  Glass was often the preferred material for storing expensive oils, perfumes and medicines in antiquity because it was not porous. Glass vessels are found frequently at Hellenistic and Roman sites, especially in cemeteries, and the liquids that 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.

Dimensions H 6.9 cm

Moulded Glass


Southern Europe

Reference: For a similar item, The Metropolitan Museum, item 17.194.221 .

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