Ancient Roman Unguentarium - “Cosmetic Flask” - c. 1st – 3rd century AD
(130 x 59 mm – 5 1/8 x 2 5/16”)
Blown-glass “unguentarium” with rounded and flared body and tooled indentation between the slender neck and lower body. The base is flattened to allow it to be freestanding, and the rim is flared and rolled. Glass of this shape was used to store ointments or cosmetic oils.
Very fine surface patina with attractive burial encrustation and areas of silvery iridescence with blue & magenta highlights – excellent condition.
Provenance: Artemis Gallery, Denver Collection (ex Sarkisian Gallery)
The survival of this fragile glass seems nearly miraculous. Occasionally examples where the glass has reacted to burial exhibit a shimmering iridescence that has long captivated the imagination of the most ardent collectors and artists.