© Sadberk Hanım Museum

Name of Object:



Istanbul, Turkey

Holding Museum:

Vehbi Koç Foundation Sadberk Hanim Museum


AD 1st century

Type of object:


Museum Inventory Number:

SHM 4984-HK 455

Material(s) / Technique(s):

Glass; free blown, tooled


Height: 8.30cm; Diameter rim: 1.80cm

Period / Dynasty:

Roman imperial period


This perfume bottle was blown from dark green transparent glass of good quality. It has a slender piriform body two-thirds of total height, a small rim folded out and flattened and a slightly flattened narrow base. Its short tubular neck was tooled at bottom. Part of the rim is broken and missing. The term "unguentarium" is mainly applied to a small vessel that held perfumed oils and cosmetic lotions. These vessels were found in relatively large quantities in the entire Mediterranean, where they were produced between the early Hellenistic and early Medieval periods. The glass unguentarium became popular by the 1st century AD, after the invention of a blowing technique which was originated in the Syro-Palestinian region before the middle of the 1st century BC. Formerly in the collection of Hüseyin Kocabaş.

Current Owner:

Hüseyin Kocabaş (as a collector)

How date and origin were established:

By stylistic analysis and material dating

How Object was obtained:

Purchased from a private collection.

Selected bibliography:

Akat, Y., Firatli, N. and Kocabaş, H., Hüseyin Kocabas Koleksiyonu Cam Eserler Katalogu / Catalogue of Glass in the Hüseyin Kocabaş Collection, Istanbul: Arkeoloji ve Sanat, 1984: 66, no. 276.
Hayes, J.W., Roman and Pre-Roman Glass in the Royal Ontario Musuem, Toronto: Royal Ontario Museum, 1975.
Isings, C., Roman Glass from Dated Finds. Archaeologia Traiectina, II, Groningen -Djakarta: J. B. Wolters, 1957.
Lightfoot, C. S. and Arslan, M. (eds), Ancient Glass of Asia Minor: The Yüksel Erimtan Collection, Ankara: Ünal Ofset, 1992.
Uygun, D. and Özden Gerçeker, S., Kadim Çağlardan İzler. Sadberk Hanım Müzesi Koleksiyonu / Traces of Ancient Ages. Sadberk Hanım Museum Collection, Istanbul: Sadberk Hanım Museum, Vehbi Koç Vakfı, 2013: 59, fig. 49.

Citation of this web page:

Senem Özden Gerçeker "Unguentarium" in MWNF GALLERIES , Museum With No Frontiers, 2020. http://www.museumwnf.org/thematicgallery/thg_galleries/database_item.php?itemId=objects;DGA;tr;Mus42;6;en&id=glass

Prepared by: Senem Özden Gerçeker
Copyedited by: Monica Allen

MWNF Working Number: TUR2_006