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Ancient Toiletries, Cosmetic, and Grooming Items

Roman, Eastern Mediterranean, Glass Double Balsamarium (Cosmetic Tube), 4th Century A.D.

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This type was used to store eye makeup. One tube would have held kohl, a black paste made with powdered galena. The other tube would have held another color, perhaps made with an ochre clay (for red or brown) or powdered malachite (for green or blue).
AG20799. cf. Yale Gallery 323, Oppenländer 680a, ROM Glass 458, Corning II 749, Choice, complete and intact, weathering and iridescence, double balsamarium, free-blown thick heavy pale translucent blue-green glass, 20.0 cm (8") tall, two tubes joined side-by-side and sharing a thick globular bottom, applied top "basket" handle attached to applied loop on each side; from the Robert H. Cornell collection, former dealer in Eastern antiquities for 40 years; $1250.00 (€1100.00)
 


Roman, Syro-Palestinian, Sprinkler Flask, 3rd - 4th Century A.D.

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Dropper bottles, such as this one, were filled with scented oil or perfume. The constriction in the neck made it easy to dispense the expensive contents one drop at a time. The swirled design was created by blowing the body into a ribbed mold, removing the glass from the mold, then blowing it again while twisting the bubble. The most unusual feature on this flask is the recessed neck, pushed into the body, a very rare feature.
AG20821. cf. Corning II 621, ROM Glass 282, Newark Museum 152, Wolf Collection 154, Carnegie Museum 213, Superb, complete and intact, attractive iridescence, globular body sprinkler flask, transparent blue glass, 11.3 cm (4 3/8") tall, 4.4 cm (1 3/4") widest diameter, beautifully made, mold-blown swirled ribs, recessed cylindrical neck, everted funnel mouth, rolled and folded in rim, kicked bottom, no pontil mark; from a Florida dealer; $1000.00 (€880.00)
 


Roman, Syro-Palestinian, Glass Sprinkler Flask, c. Late 3rd - 4th Century A.D.

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Dropper bottles, such as this one, were filled with scented oil or perfume. The constriction in the neck made it easy to dispense the expensive contents one drop at a time. The swirled design was created by blowing the body into a ribbed mold, removing the glass from the mold, then blowing it again while twisting the bubble.
AG21021. cf. ROM Glass 282, Isings 104b, Newark Museum 80-82, Oppenländer 493, Superb, complete and intact, areas of light weathering, sprinkler flask, well made free-blown, pale blue-green transparent glass, 8.5 cm (3 3/8") high, 6.3 cm (2 1/2") diameter, globular body with mold blown ribbing twisted spirally, short tubular neck with tooled slight constriction at base, internal washer-like sprinkler diaphragm at base of neck, flaring funnel mouth, rolled tubular and folded in rim, kicked bottom with pontil mark; from the collection of Alex G. Malloy, former dealer in antiquities for 40 years; $800.00 (€704.00)
 


Roman-Byzantine, Syro-Palestinian, Glass Dropper Flask, c. Late 1st - Early 5th Century A.D.

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Thick enamel-like weathering, as seen on this piece, is common on glass found in the Levant and this piece is certainly from the Levante. This flask is, however, a bit of a mystery. There is nothing very similar in the large library of ancient and medieval glass references held by Forum. It resembles an aryballos, but lacks the handles which define that type. It probably was used like an aryballos, to store and dispense scented oil which was rubbed on the skin and then scraped off to clean the body. The date is uncertain. Weathering obscures the original color, making another mystery, but the only other a similar flasks we know are described as opaque black glass.
AG20822. Isings -, et al. -; apparently unpublished but two similar pieces are known from the market (priced $2,500 - $3,000!), Choice, complete and intact, thick tan and brown enamel-like weathering, dropper flask, free-blown, amber(?) glass, 12.0 cm (4 3/4") tall, 8.5 cm maximum diameter, piriform body, very short narrow neck, broad flat folded in rim, round bottom with large pontil mark, not designed to stand on its own, attractive clear plexiglass three prong stand included; from the collection of Alex G. Malloy, former dealer in antiquities for 40 years; very rare form; $700.00 (€616.00)
 


Roman, Palestinian, Sprinkler Flask, c. 4th Century A.D.

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The Palestinian glass industry especially flourished from the early 4th to the early 5th century, when the region enjoyed a time of peace and prosperity. Conditions began to improve under Diocletian. The first Christian emperor, Constantine the Great, designated Jerusalem and the Holy Land for reconstruction. Exempted from personal taxation by an Imperial edict in 337, a large number of skilled craftsmen profited greatly from an economic boom. Urbanization increased, large new areas were put under cultivation, monasteries proliferated and synagogues were restored. The cities of Palestine, Caesarea Maritima, Jerusalem, Scythopolis, Neapolis, and Gaza reached their peak population, and the population West of the Jordan may have reached as many as one million.
AG20852. cf. Isings 104b, ROM Glass 327, Corinth II 621, Superb, complete and intact, spots of weathering and iridescence, glass dropper bottle, medium thickness yellow-green semi-transparent glass, 8.4 cm (3 1/4") high, 6.6 cm (2 5/8") maximum diameter, globular body with mold blown ribs, tubular neck tapering to a tooled constriction at top of shoulder, internal sprinkler diaphragm at base of neck, flaring mouth, vertical rim with folded stepped flange, fire rounded rim, kicked bottom with pontil mark; from the collection of Alex G. Malloy, former dealer in antiquities for 40 years; rare with this rim; $600.00 (€528.00)
 


Roman, Glass Sprinkler Flask, 3rd - 4th Century A.D.

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Dropper bottles, such as this one, were filled with scented oil or perfume. The constriction in the neck made it easy to dispense the expensive contents one drop at a time. The swirled design was created by blowing the body into a ribbed mold, removing the glass from the mold, then blowing it again while twisting the bubble.
AG21025. cf. ROM Glass 282, Isings 104b, Newark Museum 80-82, Oppenländer 493, Superb, complete and intact, spots of internal encrustation, mild weathering and some iridescence, dropper flask, 9.2 cm (3 5/8") high, 6.5 cm (2 1/2") maximum diameter, pale amber glass, slightly lopsided rolled and folded in rim, short funnel mouth, tubular neck with tooled constriction near the bottom, internal washer-like sprinkler diaphragm constriction at base of neck, globular body with spiral mold blown ribs (most visible on the shoulder), slightly convex bottom with pontil mark; from the collection of Alex G. Malloy, former dealer in antiquities for 40 years; $600.00 (€528.00)
 


Roman, Eastern Mediterranean, c. Late 2nd - 4th Century A.D.

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We did not find another example of this type. The two referenced types are not very similar.
AG21075. cf. ROM Glass 540, Isings 88b, Choice, complete, intact, spots of brown weathering, globular sprinkler jug, translucent pale yellow-green glass, 9.6 cm (3 3/4") tall, 6.8 cm (2 5/8") maximum diameter, small funnel mouth, rolled and folded in rim, applied trail handle attached at the rim and at the shoulder, ovoid/bell shaped body, a row of decorative vertical indentations around the shoulder, kicked bottom with pontil mark, from the collection of Alex G. Malloy, former dealer in antiquities for 40 years; very rare; $500.00 (€440.00)
 


Roman, Syro-Palestinian, Glass Sprinkler Jug, c. 3rd - 4th Century A.D.

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The Palestinian glass industry especially flourished from the early 4th to the early 5th century, when the region enjoyed a time of peace and prosperity. Conditions began to improve under Diocletian. The first Christian emperor, Constantine the Great, designated Jerusalem and the Holy Land for reconstruction. Exempted from personal taxation by an Imperial edict in 337, a large number of skilled craftsmen profited greatly from an economic boom. Urbanization increased, large new areas were put under cultivation, monasteries proliferated and synagogues were restored. The cities of Palestine, Caesarea Maritima, Jerusalem, Scythopolis, Neapolis, and Gaza reached their peak population, and the population West of the Jordan may have reached as many as one million.
AG21172. cf. Lightfoot NMS 178, Ontario Museum 416, Isings -, Choice, complete, intact, creme and spotty brown weathering, glass sprinkler jug, 10.3 mm (4") high, 6.3 cm (2 1/2") maximum diameter, free-blow, yellow-green glass, conical piriform body, tubular neck, slight funnel mouth, folded in rim washer-like sprinkler diaphragm and tooled constriction at the base of neck, handle attached below rim and below neck, kicked bottom with pontil mark; from a New Jersey dealer; $360.00 (€316.80)
 


Roman, Eastern Mediterranean, Glass Bottle, c. Late 2nd - 3rd Century A.D.

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This piece is not quite cylindrical but appears to be closely related to more common cylindrical specimens.
AG21101. cf. Isings 102a, ROM Glass 200, Newark Museum 446, Yale Gallery 221 - 223, Corning I 308, Superb, complete and intact, light red earthen deposits, light weathering, glass cylindrical bottle, finely made, free-blown faint lime-green glass, 9.0 cm (3 1/2") tall, 4.0 cm (1 1/2") maximum diameter, marvered to shape, rounded shoulder, body tapering toward base, short neck, rolled, folded in and flattened rim, slightly concave bottom, no pontil mark; from the collection of Alex G. Malloy, former dealer in antiquities for 40 years; $350.00 (€308.00)
 


Roman, Eastern Mediterranean, Twisted Glass Rod, 1st - 2nd Century A.D.

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Isings notes that glass rods are found "everywhere where the Romans were." Most are twisted but some are plain. Most often they have simple flattened ends but pointed ends, and ends with loops or discs, such as on this specimen are published. The purpose of these rods remains a mystery, but they are sometimes called stirring rods or dipping rods, suggesting a couple possibilities.
AG21191. cf. ROM Glass 656b, Lightfoot NMS 458, Kofler-Truniger 201, Bomford 83, Oppenländer 619, Newark Museum 521, Isings 79, Complete, reconstructed from at least three fragments, twisted glass rod, light blue-green semi-transparent glass, bent over to form a loop at one end, the other end pressed flat to form a disk; from the collection of Alex G. Malloy, former dealer in antiquities for 40 years; $300.00 (€264.00)
 




  



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Toiletries, Cosmetics & Grooming