Glass triple-bodied bottle

Said to be from Heraklion, Crete
Perhaps made in a glasshouse in Syria or modern Israel, about AD 100-200

Made by a skilful glassmaker

It is comparatively easy to make a bottle with a double body, the sections being formed by drawing a wooden tool up and down to form the partitions. This triple-bodied flask must have been made in the same way, but the glassmaker would have required great skill to achieve three partitions.

A number of double-bodied flasks come from the Rhineland, but one in The British Museum comes from Mt. Carmel in modern Israel. This triple-bodied piece, however, is said to come from Crete. This suggests that a glasshouse in the east also produced these types.

The double-bodied pieces are rather smaller than this triple-bodied example and could have served as oil bottles. This one may have had a similar purpose, though for rather greater quantities.

Find in the collection online

More information


H. Tait (ed.), Five thousand years of glass-1, 2nd paperback edition (London, The British Museum Press, 1999)

D.B. Harden and others, The British Museum: masterpiec (London, 1968)


Height: 22.000 cm
Diameter: 16.000 cm (body)
Diameter: 16.000 cm (body)

Museum number

GR 1881.4-6.1



Find in the collection online

Search highlights

There are over 4,000 highlight objects to explore