Large Roman cinerary urn

Object number
Object: Large Roman cinerary urn

Material: Pale greenish blue transparent glass.

Period: 50 AD to 200 AD.
Roman Imperial period.

Description:    Big glass jar with spherical body. The bottom is flattened. The folded lip begins directly above the body and is directed horizontally outwards.

Background: This type of jar was found mostly in the middle and North of the Roman empire. Numerous documented finds are from Italy, Germany, the Netherlands, France and Great Britain. The natural assumption is that the type of glass was manufactured in those countries. The singular finds accross the rest of the Roman empire must thus be exported goods. Large glass jars like this were used as a storage vessel. This is known from finds in Pompeii, Herculaneum, Boscoreala and Settefinestre. But it was also employed for cremation. The jars used as urns for the ashes have survived the centuries in exceptionally good condition or even intact which would otherwise be highly unusual for glasses of this size. Also for the glass described here one can expect it was used as an urn.

Dimensions: Approx. 26cm height and 24cm diameter.

Condition: Body fully intact. Only the lip is damaged and parts of it missing. Other parts have been restored. There are further fragments of the lip currently unrestored and separate. However not all pieces are still present.
The otherwise magnificent preservation is very rare for ancient glass of this size. A piece worthy of being exhibited in a museum.

Provenance: Acquired by us in 2019 from the estate of professor Ritschel, Austria. Exported with the approval of the Austrian federal monuments office. Prof. Dr. Karl-Heinz Ritschel acquired his collection between 1960 and 1970 from international art dealers.
Professor Ritschel played an important role for the culture and historical heritage of Salzburg in Austria. He supported the town's cultural development with great commitment. For example, he sponsored the restoration of the Franciscan Church. As a president of the local museum association he was playing a key role in the erection of the Salzburg Museum in the Neue Residenz. The author and brilliant writer manifested his interest in history in over 50 books and 500 columns telling the story of Salzburg. He lived his passion to communicate history to a broader public. For his achievements Karl-Heinz Ritschel was decorated many times, for example in 1995 when the Republic of Austria awarded its Decoration for Science and Art.
Also his private collection of ancient art was impressive, focussing on Roman pottery, glass, bronzes and portraiture. We have taken great care to prepare the apparently unpublished pieces with our usual high claim to quality. Now we would like to give them back to the commitment and care of a well-managed collection.

References: Cf. D. Whitehouse, Roman Glass in the Corning Museum of Glass, Volume One (1997), p. 175, no. 307.
Cf. Y. Israeli, Ancient Glass in the Israel Museum, p. 296, no. 396.

Authenticity: We unconditionally guarantee the authenticity of every artefact, all items are subject to our lifetime return policy on authenticity.