Indiana University Bloomington IU Bloomington IUB

Perfume Bottle (Unguentarium)

This elegantly shaped perfume bottle was created using the glass-blowing technique. The Roman invention of glass blowing allowed for the rapid growth of the glass industry, since it made production of glass vessels less expensive, and thus more accessible. Glass, however, was naturally a pale green color, and the creation of brightly colored glass required additional effort and resources. Glass vessels with beautifully saturated colors such as this blue one would have remained luxury items.

Perfume Bottle (Unguentarium)
Imperial period, 1st–2nd century AD
H. 5 7/8 in. (14.9 cm)
Sidney and Lois Eskenazi Museum of Art, Burton Y. Berry Collection, 69.83.19