A Late Roman turquoise glass rod-formed balsamarium, 4th-5th century AD
Glass balsamarium with a twisted tubular body, tapering towards the applied disc base, with two trailed handles
12.0 cm (h)
Ex anonymous Sale; Pierre Bergé Auctioneers, Paris, 17 January 2009, lot 38
Intact with insignificant minor chip wanting from base
Roman glass was used primarily for the production of vessels. It developed from Hellenistic technical traditions, initially concentrating on the production of intensely coloured cast glass vessels. However, during the 1st century AD the industry underwent rapid technical growth that saw the introduction of glass blowing and the dominance of colourless or ‘aqua’ glasses. By the end of the century large scale manufacturing resulted in the establishment of glass as a commonly available material in the Roman world, including technically very difficult specialized types of luxury glass.