Glass Tear Vial from the Early Roman Period


Roman Glass Candlestick Bottle

  • Blown glass bottle
  • Used as a tear collector
  • Excellent patina
  • Very good condition
  • IAA Export Approval available.
  • Certificate of authenticity included.

in stock



Roman Tear Vial Used to Collect Tears

This tall bottle is in the shape commonly referred to as a candlestick bottle. This is due to its shape, resembling a candlestick. Bottles such as these were common in the Roman period. They played a role in a tradition of the time, now long forgotten, but hinted at in the Bible.

In biblical times, tears were valued as an expression of grief or other great emotion. It is said that young women would use these bottle to catch their tears as they fell. They collected them as a remembrance of the emotional events in their lives.

“Put my tears into Your bottle; are they not in Your book?” – Psalm 56:8

In Luke 7, while Jesus ate at the house of a Pharisee, a woman came and washed his feet with her tears. While most people who read this text likely assume that she was using her tears fresh tears to wash Jesus’ feet, understanding this ancient tradition can help us understand the situation better. The woman was weeping while she washed Jesus’ feet. But it is likely that she added her past tears as well, washing Jesus’ feet with the tears from her vial. In essence, she was letting go of her past, pouring out everything that had affected and defined her in life, and giving it all to Jesus.

“(She) stood at His feet behind Him weeping; and she began to wash His feet with her tears, and wiped them with the hair of her head; and she kissed His feet and anointed them with the fragrant oil.” – Luke 7:38


This candlestick bottle made of beautiful greenish glass. It features a small rounded body, a flattened, pushed-up base, and long, thin neck. The rim flares, making it easier to catch tears and funnel them into the jar. The jar is coated with a fine layer of patina, the oxidized coating that builds up over the years on glass, marking it as a genuine ancient vessel.

Height:7″ Inches / 18 CM.

Width:1.5″ Inches / 4 CM.

Antiquities from the land of the Bible are great investments and teaching tools. They bring the Bible to life in a tangible way, connecting the stories of the Bible with real artifacts that illuminate the text.

Comes with a certificate of authenticity and all required documents for export approval.

Shipped direct from Jerusalem.

Zak’s Antiquities is the website of Zak’s fine art and antiquities located on the Christian Quarter road in Jerusalem’s Old City. The shop began in 1964 and has remained as a family owned and operated business till this day. For the past 50 years Zak’s Antiquities has sold ancient coins, antiquities and art authentic to Israel and Jerusalem.


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