Roman Green Ribbed Glass Amphoriskos

£ 2,000.00

An impressive ancient Roman amphoriskos made from various shades of vivid green glass. The vessel features a long slender, vertically ribbed, body with a rounded base. The body expands at the top, extending inwards to form, gently sloping shoulders which lead to  a cylindrical neck and wide, flaring rim. The olive green body of the vessel is decorated with two delicately curved light teal handles and two concentrical glass trails (around the rim and under the handles) in a deep blue-green colour. Some beautiful iridescence is visible around the base of the vessel. A beautiful example of Roman glass craftsmanship, used to store expensive oils and unguents.

Date: Circa 3rd - 4th Century AD
Provenance: Anonymous sale; Pierre Bergé, Paris, 29 May 2008, lot 704. The Nico F. Bijnsdorp Collection (NFB 219), acquired from the above sale.
Condition: Extremely fine, a beautiful patina of iridescence covers some of the item. Supplied with a custom-made stand.
Product Code: RGS-66
Category: Tags: ,

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 212.2 g
Dimensions W 4.5 x H 20.6 cm

Blown Glass


Southern Europe

Reference: For similar style: The Metropolitan Museum, New York, item X.21.189

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