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Possible Roman Period Bottle?


Nov 18, 2019
Hoping someone out there knows ancient glass. Found in a flea market for 10 bucks, it appears to have hallmarks of Roman bottles I have researched on line, it has a hazy lightly pearlescent patina, applied handles & applied spiral on the neck. Also, a crude open pontil. I'm sure Roman bottles are faked, if so how do you tell?



Well-Known Member
May 17, 2012
Ontario , Canada
i have no clue but doubt its roman , it could be old , its hard to guess an age with those sort of items . doubt a lot of true roman stuff has made its way to north America and a lot would be in museums or affluent collectors private collections


Nov 18, 2019
Not all, but yes. I found several on line in museum collections & auctions. including some that have the distinct applied spiral on the upper half. Also, the patina on this bottle is different than any I have dug, it is heavy with some tiny dark inclusions.


Well-Known Member
Nov 4, 2019
I have never bought ancient glass, because I never trust it to be real. However, there are ways supposedly to tell if its ancient or not. Also, glass production looked very similar from about 200 CE to about 1100 CE. Theres no telling where, if that were real, when or where in the world it came from. It could be from anywhere in the Roman world or be Byzantine, which the Byzantine Empire lasted until 1422 or so. It could be Iranian, Syrian, Lebanese, Egyptian, anywhere in Europe, etc. I'm sure you could contact ancient glass experts in museums, IE the Cleveland Art Museum or museums in Italy, etc. Anyways, heres a video Ive watched as Ive come across a few bottles that are supposedly ancient, but Ive never found any for ten bucks, they're usually 300 bucks to tens of thousands if real.


There are many many fakes for ancient glass that are made in India and China and sold to be real, so you have to be really careful, but for ten bucks, you didnt lose anything either way.

To me, that bottle I doubt is real. It just doesn't look right and that those frail little handles wouldn't have broken over time is highly implausible. The handles to me, should have mineralization on them, but they dont appear to have much if any. But who knows.
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Nov 18, 2019
Wow! Loved the tutorial, specially when he tossed the fake at the end. My bottle had aspects of real & fake pieces, but seemed to lean towards real. I will be looking at museums to see if someone will take a look at it. thank you.
Nov 6, 2019
While the base bottle could be Roman period, the handles are too uniform in my opinion. Most roman glass with handles are not symmetrical. That being said, it does have a similar patina and it is highly possible that the person selling had no idea what it was. Roman glass doesn't typically have makers marks on them and that makes it hard to research. I would seek out a professional who knows Roman glass and is trained in what to look for. It is hard to determine the authenticity of nearly anything from a photo. The weight, the feel of the glass, any fine chips/cracks, the pontil, etc. is important. Good luck my friend and I do hope you just got a steal.

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