Roman Marbled Sand-Core Glass Unguentarium

£ 750.00

A delicate Roman glass unguentarium in a dark yellow core, laced with brown and white marbling. The bottle features a pyriform shaped body with a flattened base and a slightly concave centre. Upwards the bottle comprises of a wide cylindrical neck which tapers outwards to an everted folded over and slightly flattened rim. The bottle displays a rough surface with some air bubbles consistent with the casting process.

Date: Circa 1st century AD
Provenance: Es SM collection, acquired 1970s-2000s.
Condition: Very fine condition. Earthly encrustations to the interior. Some bubbles to the glass which is consistent with the casting process.
Product Code: RGS-63

Unguentaria were amongst the most common objects of Roman blown glass: produced in large numbers, they were items of everyday use for keeping expensive unguents and cosmetic oils. By the 1st century AD, the technique of glass-blowing had revolutionised the art of glass-making. This glass bottle was formed from a combination of casting and blowing produced in the period before glass blowing popularity. Its method included cane and rods of pre-formed coloured glasses being arranged and fused together through reheating. The glass was then manipulated to create unique ribbon-mosaic glass. The surface of such glasses tends to be rougher due to the nature of the creation, creating entirely unique pieces.

To discover more about the types and uses of unguentaria, please visit our relevant blog post: Roman Glass: Unguentaria and Cosmetics.

Dimensions W 3.7 x H 8.3 cm

Southern Europe


Sand Core

Reference: For Similar: Bonhams Auction House, London, Antiquities, 6th July 2023, lot 127

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