Glass Unguentarium

Roman

original

gift of: Professor Thurston Lacalli

date: c. AD 100-200

provenance: purchased by donor in 1970-72.

description: Light green glass oil vial. Test tube shape with bulb bottom. On base: height 11.5 cm, diameter 2 cm.

Most unguentaria, used for the storage of perfume oils (see also: Nubian Boy Unguent Jar), are of this type: the “test tube” type, a common shape typical of the Flavian period. It is slender and tubular, with a faint constriction halfway down its length which marks off the neck from the body. The body itself is drop shaped.

It possibly was originally light blue-green in colour, but now has the yellowish film of decay. The body contains a pale ivory surface film, also the mark of decay.

(See also: Glass Jug.)