Ancient Roman Glass Unguentarium
Beautiful Unguentarium with a low pear-shaped body with a tall slende neck and a concave base. The glass over the entire surface is dark in colour and a layer with noticeable iridescence of silver, blue and purple. Unguentaria types of free blown glass made throughout the Roman Empire. May have been called "ampulla" in ancient Rome or antiquity. They were easily tooled therefore made perfect vessels for mass production. These unguentaria were thought to carry primarily unguents (hence the name) also thought to have carried scented oils, medicine, pigments, cosmetics, or even dried herbs. This example dates to approx 100 AD and measures 4.25 inches in height.
The unguentarium, also known as a Balsamarium, Lacrimarium or tears vessel, is a small glass or ceramic bottle found frequently by archaeologists at Roman and Hellenistic and grave sites.
Provenance: From the collection of Alex G. Malloy, former dealer in antiquities for 40 years.See: Hermitage Collection (St. Petersburg 1997) by Nina Kunina, no. 362, illustration 178