A Roman Green Glass Sprinkler Bottle, 4th Century CE


$1,950 USD

This graceful bottle is a wonderful example of Roman glass. The transparent glass itself is a pale aqua hue with scattered areas of light iridescence in soft green, blue, and pink hues. The body of the glass is globular; the neck straight and slender.  Internally, the base of the neck is somewhat constricted enabling the flow of precious liquid to be controlled or "sprinkled" when poured.  Six cinnabar red trails are preserved on the neck, drawn from a point of application at the top, and continuing as a lighter relief thread over the aqua surface to end at the base of the neck with thickened finishing drop. Handling and rotating the vessel helps the viewer to observe the particularities of the technique. The irregular space between the individual red lines affirms this glasswork is uniquely handmade.

Reference:  Hayes J. W.  (1975) Roman and Pre-Roman Glass in the Royal Ontario Museum. Toronto,   Susan H. Auth (1976) "Ancient Glass at the Newark Museum from the Eugene Schaefer collection"

Dimensions: Height:  5-1/4  inches (13.33 cm)

Condition: This bottle features minor weathering and mineral accretions and like many glass vessels of this type, the glass is naturally translucent and there is scattered pale iridescence particularly to the body.  Aside for some minor losses to the threading on the neck, it is intact and in very good condition overall with no cracks or breaks.

Provenance: The William R. Crawford collection of Ancient Glass and Antiquities, acquired in Cyprus prior to 1972.  This piece is accompanied by an export license from Cyprus.   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.