Small Roman Candlestick Glass Unguentarium

£ 235.00

An elegant ancient Roman candlestick style unguentarium blown from a delicate pale blue glass. The body is formed from two globular segments, one larger and one smaller, which extend into a neat cylindrical neck, topped by a flared, outward folded rim. The base is slightly flattened. The exterior of the vessel showcases a delicate coating of iridescent, silvery lustre with some areas of darker, textured ageing around the base and inner rim. The glass itself is translucent and showcases a very slight rainbow iridescence in some areas.
The lovely light blue ‘aqua’ colouring is characteristic of natural untreated glass and is commonplace amongst early Roman examples. It is a result of iron (II) oxide present within the composition.

Date: Circa 1st-2nd century AD
Provenance: From the important collection of a professional by descent, bought London and Europe 1970-90's
Condition: Very fine condition. One hairline crack from the mouth to half-way down the neck, iridescence and earthly encrustations are present over the exterior.
Product Code: RGS-71
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The Romans frequently utilised the functional and decorative capabilities of glass to produce a wide array of objects. Unguentaria, such as this example, were used as containers for ointments, powders, balms, and other expensive liquids such as 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.

To learn more about Roman glass, visit our relevant post: How It Was Made: Roman Glass.

Weight 17.1 g
Dimensions W 3.40 x H 7.10 cm

Blown Glass


Southern Europe

Reference: For a similar item,The Princeton University Art Museum, item y1946-298

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