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22. ROMAN CLEAR GLASS SPRINKLER FLASK

A large and beautiful Roman sprinkler flask of clear glass with a globular body, cylindrical neck and raised ribs around the body. Circa 250 - 400 A.D. The small opening on the inside of the neck would only permit a drop of liquid to pass through at a time (hence "sprinkler" or "dropper" flask). Most of the interior of the flask is covered in silvery white deposits with some beautiful areas of iridescence.

Glassblowing developed in the Syro-Palestinian region in the early first century B.C. and came to Rome with craftsmen and slaves after the area's annexation to the Roman world in 64 B.C. The new technology revolutionized the Roman glass industry, stimulating an enormous increase in the range of shapes and designs that could be produced. Glassworker's were no longer bound by the technical restrictions of the casting process. Blowing allowed for unparalleled versatility and speed of manufacture. These advantages spurred an evolution of style, form and experimentation, leading craftsmen to create unique shapes; examples of which include flasks and bottles shaped like human heads, fruits and animals.


Condition: Complete and intact. Some small but stable stress fractures from prolonged burial.

Dimensions: 9.5 cm x 6.5 cm approx.

Provenance: Ex. private collection, UK; acquired at UK auction house.

SOLD

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