|Sale: CNG 72, Lot: 2849. Estimate $300.
Closing Date: Wednesday, 14 June 2006.
Sold For $180. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.
[Pottery] ROMAN. Gaul(?). Lead-glazed jar.
Circa 1st century AD. Height 8cm, diameter across mouth 7.5cm. A closed-mouth jar, possibly an ink pot. Pinkish clay with bi-color honey and metallic green lead glazing. Applied barbotine decoration with bands of points around body, shoulder with appliques of two prunts and two masks or gorgoneia, separated by groups of three dots. Bowl mouth with constricted concave discus, filling hole and offset opening, possibly for pen. Choice condition, intact with no noticeable damage or repair. The colored glaze was thinly applied to begin with, and has mostly deteriorated to an iridescent sheen. Roman lead-glazed wares are very rare, especially in a good state of preservation.
There are Greek bottles with similar bowl-shaped mouths, that have been described as perfume jars. Presumably aromatic oils were poured into the bottle, then a sponge or some other absorbent material was placed in the bowl to soak up the fragrance. The small hole may have held a burning rush to further spread the scent.