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Examples of the 60 pieces of Roman glass sold at John Nicholson’s in group lots for prices from £2800-3600.

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Most appeared to be Roman bottles and bowls associated with personal adornment and drinking from the 1st century BC to the 1st century AD – unguentaria for perfume, albastron flasks for oils and patella cups for ointments or drinking. Others appeared to be ancient Persian glass (from the 6th to 4th century BC) and Greek vessels from the 4th to 1st century BC.

Together they displayed an array of ancient glassmaking techniques including marbling, banding, mosaic work, core-forming and mould-blowing.

Among the high-status novelties were bottles with polychrome trailed decoration modelled as birds and rodents and a bowl modelled as a tortoise lying on its back.

A selection of mould-blown flasks included a red ‘agate’ vessel modelled as the head of a bearded man and others in cobalt blue glass formed as portrait busts and bunches of grapes. Most displayed the characteristics of glassware that had been buried.

The estimates of £200-300 per lot of 10 or more items proved to be modest. Bidding reached between £2800-3600 on each lot.