Roman Yellow Marbled Glass Unguentarium


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Object Description

A delicate Roman marbled unguentarium used as a vessel for holding liquids. The unguentarium is made from yellow glass and features a large, pyriform shaped body with a short, narrow neck and out turned rim.

Unguentaria have been repeatedly found at Roman and Hellenistic sites, the vessel was used to hold liquids and oils such as perfume and keep them fresh. Perfume was very popular in Rome; it was produced in many different forms including as a solid, powder or liquid. It was so well used that Cicero declared that ‘the right scent for a woman is none at all’, suggesting an excessiveness. The Roman people were able to use exotic scents which had been brought over with expanding trade to the East and which would display their social status. Different scents would also have been used for different social occasions. Perfumes would be stored in vessels such as this unguentarium because its long elongated neck would give control to the flow of the perfume when poured.

Circa 3rd – 4th century AD

Object History

Ex S.M. collection, London, 1948 – 2000. Then, private collection belonging to a gentleman, the J.L collection.

Object Condition

Very fine condition.

Object Details

Dealer Opening Times

By appointment only.

Dealer Contact

+44 (0)208 364 4565
+44 (0)7833231322

Dealer Location

The Gallery
Trent Park Equestrian Centre
Eastpole Farm House, Bramley Road
Oakwood, N14 4UW, United Kingdom

St James's Ancient Art
10 Charles II Street, Ground Floor
St James

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