Frontinian barrel

This cylindrical bottle with a handle, which is made of moulded glass, is part of the rich funerary furniture of a burial tomb discovered in Celles, in the province of Liege, by Father Victor Demarteau. The object has five horizontal grooves on the top and the bottom of the body, which recall the metal hooping of Gallic wooden barrels, which inspire the shape. 

The bottom bears the abbreviated mark FRON (FRONTINVS) in relief. This confers the generic name "frontinian barrel" to containers of this shape. The meaning of this mark is unknown to us; it may, instead, refer to the contents of the container, rather than the name of the glass manufacturer. For a long time it was thought that this type of cylindrical bottle, which could have one or two handles, contained wine. This was invalidated by the analysis of the liquid kept in a barrel discovered in Amiens, France. Since these bottles come in different sizes, they may have been used as ways of measuring liquids.

Numéro d'inventaire FLORA
Année d'exécution
2e moitié du 4e siècle – début 5e siècle
Celles (Faimes, province de Liège)
H 15,9 cm, Ø panse 8,9 cm, ép. 1 à 1,5 mm