Roman Miniature Glass UnguentariumImperial (Roman)
ca. 1st century
3 3/8 x 7/8 x 29/32 in. (8.6 x 2.2 x 2.3 cm)
Bryn Mawr College
Accession Number: G.94
Classification: Containers and Vessels; Vessels; Unguentaria
Culture/Nationality: Eastern Mediterranean (?)
This object has the following keywords:
- glass - An amorphous, inorganic substance made by fusing silica (silicon dioxide) with a basic oxide; generally transparent but often translucent or opaque. Its characteristic properties are its hardness and rigidity at ordinary temperatures, its capacity for plastic working at elevated temperatures, and its resistance to weathering and to most chemicals except hydrofluoric acid. Used for both utilitarian and decorative purposes, it can be formed into various shapes, colored or decorated. Glass originated as a glaze in Mesopotamia in about 3500 BCE and the first objects made wholly of glass date to about 2500 BCE.
- miniature - Use to describe objects and beings of a reduced size or scale compared to the average or normal range for its kind.
- Roman - Refers broadly to the period, styles, and culture of the state centered on the city of Rome from the period from the founding of the city ca. 700 BCE through the events leading to the founding of the republic in 509 BCE, the establishment of the empire in 27 BCE, and the final eclipse of the Empire of the West in the 5th century CE. Ancient Rome became a powerful force and supplanted Greek and Etruscan influence on the Apennine peninsula. Its rule and influence gradually encompassed a wide area in Europe, northern Africa, the Middle East, and Asia Minor. Its influence was wide in scope, including sculpture, painting, architecture, engineering, language, the road system, law, and many other areas of culture. Roman art and architecture is characterized by early derivations from Greek art and architecture, but it gradually developed into a style of its own, absorbing characteristics of styles from the far flung regions under its control.
- unguentaria - Containers probably used to hold ointments and perfume. Early ceramic examples found at Petra (probably 4th-century BCE) were in the typical Hellenistic form of the spindle bottle, but this form was later completely replaced by a series of high-necked types with round to ovoid bodies of varying and apparently standardized forms (from the 1st century BCE onwards). The number of unguentaria found at Petra suggests that they were made locally; their manufacture would have been linked to the myrrh and other unguents that the Nabataeans traded. They have also been found at western sites. Pear-shaped glass unguentaria were later made at various locations in the Arabian peninsula.
- Shifting Sands: Roman Glass in the Bryn Mawr College Collections Bryn Mawr College , Oct 15, 2007 – May 30, 2008
Owner Name: Clarissa Compton Dryden, Class of 1932, MA 1935
Place: Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, USA
Acquisition Method: Inheritance
Disposal Method: Donation
Ownership Start Date: 1925
Ownership End Date: 1950's to 1980's
Remarks: A relative of archaeologist, Charles Densmore Curtis (1875-1925), Dryden presented the Ella Riegel Museum with items she inherited from his collection of Greek, Roman, and Etruscan artifacts throughout the 1950s-1980s
Owner Name: Charles Densmore Curtis (1875-1925)
Disposal Method: Bequest
Ownership Start Date: Likely ca. 1900
Ownership End Date: 1925
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