Perfume bottle

1st–4th century CE
more object details

General Description

This glass perfume bottle is Roman but originated in Damascus around the fifth century CE. It is "saracenic," a term used by the ancient Romans to refer to a people who lived in desert areas in and around the Roman province of Arabia and were distinguished from Arabs. During this time the Romans controlled the blown-glass industry in Syria and exported specialized items such as this perfume bottle to the East. The delicacy and visual appeal of fine glass vessels made them valuable trade objects.

Adapted from

  • DMA label text, "Glass," Snail Gallery, transcribed November 22, 2016.

  • DMA unpublished material.

Web Resources

Heilbrun Timeline of Art History
Read about Roman glass.