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Lot 0039
Roman, Imperial Period, ca. 2nd to 3rd century CE. A spectacular blue glass double unguentarium, sometimes called a balsamarium, with a high arched handle and tightly wrapped, thin trails of applied glass adorning the sides of the unguents. The conjoined tubes have a tall handle with two loops applied to the sides below the rims of each. Wealthy men and women would employ these pieces to contain their precious unguents or oils. Another use was as a double kohl vessel containing the two colors of eye makeup. This vessel appears to contain remains of such contents. Vessels like this have also been found in tombs and were used to contain scented oils or precious cosmetics for the deceased to carry into the next world. Size: 3.2" W x 6.2" H (8.1 cm x 15.7 cm); 8.1" H (20.6 cm) on included custom stand.

See Roman Glass in the Corning Museum of Glass (2001), p. 192, 742 ff for a similar piece.

Provenance: private southern California, USA collection, acquired in the 1970s to mid-1980s

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Upper part of handle has a well done, difficult to see repair. Roughly one third of the rigaree remains. Otherwise in beautiful condition with a thick pearlescence and iridescence on the surface and some areas of exposed glass. Vessel possesses a pontil scar or mark which indicates that the vessel was free-blown. (The absence of such a mark would suggest that the work was either mold-blown or that the mark was intentionally smoothed away or wore away over time.)

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Roman Glass Double Unguentarium w/ Trailing

Estimate $1,200 - $1,700Dec 5, 2018
Louisville, CO, USA