Roman Glass Pilgrim Flask

£ 700.00

A beautiful Ancient Roman glass pilgrim flask, finely blown in yellow coloured glass. The vessel features a flat, spherical body, a long cylindrical neck and a folded rim. The bright yellow colour of the glass was achieved by adding lead to the molten glass. The passing of time has left some delicate iridescence to the glass’ surface.

Date: Circa 2nd-3rd century AD
Provenance: From a private Japanese collection, 1972-2010.
Condition: Extremely fine with some scratches and earthly encrustations to the surface.
Product Code: RGS-44
Category: Tag:

The Romans loved glass for its practical as well as decorative uses. Glass flasks, 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 H 14 cm

Blown Glass


Southern Europe

Reference: For a similar item, Christie’s, 13th December 2013, New York, lot number 50.

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