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Roman Bottle from 100 B.C. to 70 A.D.!!!

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    Posted 4 years ago

    (813 items)

    Age of Roman Unguent Bottle
    Circa 100 B.C. to A.D. 70 (Assumed. See below).

    General Information
    This bottle was sold to me under the typical "first to third century A.D." heading for early glass unguentarium (holding salve, or oils/perfumes for the rich; sometimes used for votive offerings, though also buried with bodies "for" the after-life) , and while this is certainly an unguent, I think it pre-dates the second-century A.D.
    I think it predates the second century for a combination of reasons that, as far as various university and museum sites assert, were rarely combined after about 70-100 A.D. See below.

    Early Manufacturing Characteristics Seen in Bottle
    The two-colour opaque bottle is a roughly (natural protrusions) cast bottle (not blown, but poured) with a solid mass of green glass on the bottom and an ice-blue (not aqua) cast upper body and a applied top (sadly the top was broken at or after the time of excavation as evident by the lack of any decomposition on the sharp break).
    You can see in the silver band (it literally looks like silver in person) kind of in mid-body where the maker had fused the two pieces together. A bottle like this would be made over hours or even days, for it had to be reheated several times.
    The top was also separately applied (to what would have been a wide-mouthed body) as also evidenced by a silver band where it was fused to the mid body. Essentially, it is a three-part bottle.

    Production Location Unknown
    As for where it was made, I won't speculate. The Romans produced glass inside the Italian peninsula and abroad. They had started with Egyptian glass but forcibly relocated the makers to Rome and other cities of importance. By the time of our Savior, glass was being produced in several locations and worked in many more (glass was often produced and shipped to makers of glass containers and art).
    It's typical of first-century B.C. and first-century A.D. bottles, for by the mid second-century colour began to be phased out save for truly intense or translucent (not opaque, like this example), purposeful colours as light aqua and white glasses grew in popularity for general use. Glass blowing took off by about 70 A.D.; and by the middle of the second century A.D., cast bottles were pretty much a thing of the past. They no longer made them out of multiple pieces of glass, either.

    It looks awful when not wet. I bought it cheap, and the seller didn't note that the upper portion was blue. We all thought it first- to third-century from his photos. He shipped it in a typical yellow ENVELOPE for media-mail with some 'packing peanuts' and half a plastic plate wrapped around it, but it had slipped free of the plate and was sitting UNPROTECTED in the corner of the envelope.... So, I am NOT happy with this seller's shipping methods.
    While I've held these things before, this is the first for my own personal collection of antique glassware-- and talk about a true antique! It may have been contemporary with our Lord Yeshua (Jesus' real Name)!
    It pre-dates the pontil era. There are bottles older than pontiled bottles. Hah!

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    1. SpiritBear, 4 years ago
      Thank you for commenting, keramikos. Last year I took an extreme interest in Judaism and got involved with the Hebrew Roots movement for Christianity. It's amazing how that has transformed my understanding and enriched my faith in Hashem.
    2. AnnaB AnnaB, 4 years ago
      It looks awesome, the oxidation gives it a true ancient character! It's a pretty amazing experience to hold something this old in your hands. I always wanted a Roman bottle too as a centerpiece for my collection, and last summer i got one at an estate sale. But i can't even display it, i think it's so fragile that I'm afraid something will happen to it. I just packed it and put it away. What's the point of having it?! LOL
    3. SpiritBear, 4 years ago
      It's not oxidation. That would be from the air. I call it mineralisation. Essentially, glass rots in the ground and becomes fossilised. Certain properties are leached out into the surrounding environment, and others leach in to fill their place. Then it also has scaling from mineral build-ups on top of that replacement. Basically, it's a fossilised bottle. LOL. It also has some patination on the glass from other minerals.
      Yes, you must show it to us here and display it. For the time being, I have this one in my protected bottle cabinet. When my other two get here from England, I will put them in their own glass box and put them on a shelf elsewhere since they can't exactly fade. LOL. What I can display, if it isn't seasonal, I get rid of.
      You can use museum putty to hold it stationary.
    4. AnnaB AnnaB, 4 years ago
      Fossilized bottle =) Thank you for- again- explaining the process in layman terms. I'll post mine now, maybe by looking at it you can tell what processes took place there, it has a lot of rainbow/shimmering areas that are flaking off at the lightest touch.
    5. SpiritBear, 4 years ago
      Yes, the rainbow is iridescence or patination. Real patination is often flaky. Some patination is faked, but it looks oily more than as part of the glass.
    6. SEAN68 SEAN68, 4 years ago
    7. SpiritBear, 4 years ago
      Thank you, Sean.
    8. vintagelamp vintagelamp, 4 years ago
      Wow! Loved seeing and reading this
    9. SpiritBear, 4 years ago
      Thank you, Vintage Lamp. I ordered two more bottles. LOL.
      You can get them rather cheap if you buy from England. Thankfully, if you spent under 100 dollars total on only one shipped item without intent to resell, you don't get charged an import tax for America. So, if you want one, dive right in!

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