Bottle, Glass, Equite, Roman

Production date
4th Century CE
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Object detail

Opaque green glass round bottle with some encrustation and iridescence. The body is large, evenly rounded with a neck drawing straight up from the body of the vessel ending in a plain lip.Ares of white appearance on the vessel is scene painted in white, showing a hunter riding his horse, and above him are parts of a legend in Greek. Eleven characters can be discerned.
CH classification ARCHAEOLOGY Roman
Production date
4th Century CE
Production place
H160mm x W110mm x D110mm
Media/Materials description
History and use
Glassmaking has evolved through the centuries. Techniques have included inflating glass using a blowpipe (blown), using open moulds (casting), and covering a core with glass (core formed). Artists began to experiment with colour, design, patterns and inlays, which were added for special embellishment. Small imperfections are present - handles are not always level, the body may contain air bubbles, yet these lend uniqueness and charm to each item. Glass was often a luxury item. Merchants and traders packed, shipped and sold goods in a variety of glass bottles and jars.

This piece is unusual and rare for its painted decoration on the body of the vessel, which depicts a man riding his horse, and above him are Greek letters, said to be describing part of a legend. The bottle was said to have been placed in the tomb of a Roman equestrian cavalry officer (Equite). Objects associated with a person's profession sometimes accompanied the deceased in their tombs.
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