Janus Head Clear Glass Flask

£ 995.00

A very fine example of Ancient Roman glass flask, mould-blown in a clear aqua colour. The passing of time has left some delicate translucent rainbow-like iridescence to the glass’s surface. The glass features a round body resembling two identical plump-faced heads with dimpled chins and curly hair, represented by raised blobs, a long cylindrical neck and a flaring rim. The flask has been blown in a two-part mould: traces of the joining can be seen at the mid-way point, vertically, between the two faces. The double-faced figure can be identified with Roman god Janus. According to Graeco-Roman mythology and culture, Janus was one of the oldest and most important divinities. He was the god of beginnings, and usually depicted with two faces, in order to look towards both the future and the past.

Date: Circa 3rd Century AD
Provenance: From an important collection of a Japanese gentleman, deceased, 1970-2015.
Condition: Extremely fine, a small chip off outside rim.
Product Code: RGS-51
Category: Tags: ,

The Romans loved glass for its practical as well as decorative uses. Glass bottles, such as this beautiful example, were used as containers for ointments, powders, balms, and other expensive liquids associated with the toilet, especially perfumes: the small mouth of the bottle is ideal for slow, careful pouring, while glass was preferred for holding liquids, due to its non-porous, non-absorbent nature. 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 W 4 x H 8.5 cm

Southern Europe


Moulded Glass

Reference: For a similar item, The British Museum, item number 91528

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