Greek Unguentarium Jar (Ceramic Bottle)

Date: c. 700 - 400 BCE
Greek Archaic Period

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Item Description:

Measurements: 2.3 x 2.3 x 5.1 inches

An unguentarium is a small ceramic or glass bottle of Greco-Roman origin. These containers were primarily used to hold unguents, oils, or perfumes. The use of unguentaria was widespread in the Roman Empire between the 1st century BCE and the 2nd century CE, and even earlier in ancient Greece. They were often placed in burials as grave goods, possibly to provide the deceased with scented oils in the afterlife. Unguentaria come in various shapes and sizes, and they were made using different materials and techniques, such as free-blown glass and mold-blown glass. The designs and decorations of unguentaria can range from plain and simple to intricate and elaborate, reflecting the socio-economic status of the owner or the deceased.

This item was formerly part of an ancient art gallery's collection in New York City, and was acquired by them at least two to three decades prior (before 2010). It comes from the region surrounding the ancient city of Corinth.

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