Here we see a rare example of the sophisticated glassblowing techniques mastered by the Romans and spread to ancient Byzantine. This Byzantine two-tone glass flask has a wonderful gold hue, while a smart pair of purple decorations wave up the base’s opposite sides and form two finger-sized handles.

The rich purple of these ridged details is a luxurious touch to an otherwise everyday flask. Simple flourishes such as these purple designs are what made Roman and Byzantine glassblowers stand out among ancient craftsmen. This piece dates from approximately 200 C.E. – 400 C.E., when glassblowing had taken off throughout the Roman Empire and allowed for such intricate objects to adorn the houses of nobles and the middle class alike.