Roman bird-shaped glass vessels were used as perfume bottles. The liquid was sealed inside the vessels and the tip of the tail had to be broken to remove the perfume.

March 25, 2024

Roman bird-shaped glass vessels were used as perfume bottles. The liquid was sealed inside the vessels and the tip of the tail had to be broken to remove the perfume. The one in the bottom picture (dated to the 1st century CE) is still intact and filled with the scented content.

The ones in the top picture are now housed at the Archaeological Museum of Thessaloniki, while the intact vessel in the bottom picture is now housed at the Museo di Antichità di Torino.

Gareth Harney on X: "Roman glass 'bird bottles', known as 'unguentarium';  these delicate vessels were made with their contents (perfumes or cosmetic  oils) sealed inside. The tip of the tail would be broken off to pour out  the liquid. 1st century AD ...

Translucent pale blue green.
Long, solid, rounded beak; head projecting forward and slightly downward, attached to tubular neck that merges with plump body.
Broken, with back part of body and tail missing; few bubbles; dulling and faint iridescence on exterior, creamy iridescent weathering covering interior with one patch of limy encrustation.

Nina Willburger on X: "Fascinating world of ancient #glass: #Roman bird-shaped  vessels were used as perfume bottles. The liquid was sealed inside the  vessels and the tip of the tail had to

Bottles of this type were made with their contents (either liquid perfume or cosmetic powder) sealed inside. The tip of the tail had thus to be broken to remove the contents.