A finely modelled Ancient Roman translucent aubergine glass flask, featuring a piriform body leading to a short, slightly everted cylindrical neck and a flaring rim. Two applied trail handles, rendered in in pale green glass, extend from the rim to the shoulders.
Small glass flasks, such as this example, were used in Antiquity to store oils and expensive perfumes, considered precious at the time and often used both in private life and public ceremonies. These type of vessels were probably used in funerary and burial rituals, hence their frequent occurrence in archaeological excavations of ancient cemeteries. Glass flasks were usually small in size, made to fit comfortably in one’s hand and delicate in nature. They differed slightly in their style to unguentaria which had a more practical purpose, rather than decorative.
Date: Circa 1st – 3rd Century AD.
Provenance: From the collection of M. & Mme. Nobili, Paris, acquired prior to 2000. This vessel has been published by F. Slitine, Histoire du Verre: L’Antiquite, Paris 2005, p.71