A Roman Candlestick Ungentarium, Roman Imperial, ca. 1st century CE
Object No: RG1620
This free-blown bottle of pale blue/green glass is another variant of the unguentarium, the famous small container which was created in the Hellenistic period, and served for the storage and transport of perfumes, or perfumed oils, that were widely used in Classical antiquity both in daily life and in funeral ceremonies. It is composed of two main elements: the unusually flat splayed body, with a round, slightly concave footless base, and the long, thin, slightly flared neck which ends with a small rounded lip that was possibly sealed with a cork.
Dimensions: height: 7 1/4 inches (18.4 cm)
Condition: Like many glass vessels of this type, there is minor weathering and mineral accretions to the interior including some loose original residue, the glass is naturally translucent and there is scattered pale iridescence particularly to the body. It is intact and in very good condition overall with no chips, cracks or breaks.
Provenance: The William R. Crawford collection of Ancient Glass and Antiquities, acquired from the European trade in the 1950's and then by descent. William R. Crawford, a retired American career diplomat and expert on the Middle East and Cyprus, was Director of Arab-Israeli Affairs at the State Department between 1959-1964, and Deputy Chief of Mission in Cyprus thereafter. In the 1970's, he was ambassador to Yemen and then to Cyprus and later became principal deputy assistant secretary of state for Near East and South Asian affairs. He donated part of his collection to the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts prior to his death in 2002.
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