Ancient Glass Blog of The Allaire Collection


Posted in Uncategorized by Allaire Collection of Glass on June 5, 2023


From Nico F. Bijnsdorp


4th – 5th century AD, possibly earlier.  Syro-Palestinian, possibly Syria.

H: 24.8 cm. D max: 15.7 cm. D rim: 8.5 cm. Weight: 458 gr.


Intact. Iridescence and weathering.


Free blown. Handles and coil applied.


Transparent green glass.

Conical body in bag-form, slightly bulging at bottom and curving to base. Slightly concave base with no pontil mark. Shoulder gently sloping to broad and tall neck, widening to the mouth. Rim partly rounded, partly tubular by folding the rim out, up and in. A coil of the same glass wound around middle of neck. Two opposite handles with five ribs each dropped onto shoulder, drawn up, then down and attached to neck just above coil and further drawn up along neck to top of rim. Excess glass pulled back on handle and partly on neck.


17 January 2009, Pierre Bergé Auctions, Paris, France.


This glass seems to have been produced by a non-experienced blower. The coil

on the neck starts with a big drop between the handles, thinning quickly till its

end at three quarters of one revolution, under a handle, were a second part of

the coil starts, ending on the big drop. Here the excess glass is pulled back on the

neck. Also the excess glass of one handle is pulled back onto the neck. Both

handles are slightly obliquely applied.


Ex Hadji Baba, London.


Pierre Bergé 17 January 2009, No. 47.


Thermenmuseum Heerlen (NL), “Romeins glas uit particulier bezit”,

29 April – 28 August 2011. Exhibition No. 91.


Saldern 1974, Hentrich Collection, No. 231.

Barag 1970, Pl. 8.38.

Arveiller-Dulong 2005, Louvre Museum, No. 1041.


Posted in Uncategorized by Allaire Collection of Glass on May 31, 2023

Roman Glass One Handle Pitcher

from the collection of

Elisabeth & Theo Zandbergen collection

Dimensions: height 12,9 cm., ø spout 4,5 cm., ø corpus 7,3 cm., weight 113,1 grams.

Origin: Western Empire, probably Gaul, end 3rd CE.


A very well-preserved jug made from pale olive-green glass with the distinctive dark green glass three ribbed handle. (Sometimes called a Celery handle). The spherical corpus with long neck has been decorated with a counterclockwise spiral trailing. The base is slightly kicked-in and has a smoothened pontil mark. The condition is perfect.

Parallels amongst others:

  • Fremersdorf, Das Naturfarbene sogenannte blaugrüne Glas in Köln, Tafel 26,
  • Doppelfeld, Römisches und Fränkisches Glas in Köln, nr. 105, probably the same object

as with Fremersdorf,

  • Kunia, Ancient glass in the Hermitage collection, pg. 308/310 nr. 281, however, in a different color and without trailing.


  • Swiss private collection before 1972,
  • Christies New York October 2018 lot nr. 84,
  • Cahn auction, April 7th, 2022.


Posted in Uncategorized by Allaire Collection of Glass on May 26, 2023

AJAM 047 Sprinkler Bottle with Fins

of AJAM /Collection of Ancient Glass

Origin Eastern Mediterranean, probably Syria.

Size ↑ 9 cm │ Ø max. 6,9 cm │ Ø edge 4,5 cm │weight 89,39 grams.

Technique Free blown body. Pliers squeezed out decorations of ribs and studs.


Transparent light green sprinkler with pear-shaped body, short cylindrical neck in which a disc with an opening is placed on the inside at the transition to the body to effect dripping. The wide upper edge is folded into a flange-shaped flat mouth opening. The appearance is decorated with various bulges, at the bottom four saucer-shaped studs pulled out. Around the body, with profile pliers, four vertical ribs with an imprint of shaded horizontal stripes are pulled out in the form of fish fins. On the flattened bottom there is a pontil mark present.


The glass sprinklers were formed after the year 250 AD. at the eastern borders of the Roman Empire. Probably under the influence of the Sassanids who took power in Persia from the Parthians in the year 226 AD. The oldest specimens have been found in tombs along the Roman eastern borders near the cities of Emesa (Homs) and Dura Europos. The last one mentioned is a Roman fortified city that was destroyed by the Sassanids in the year 256 AD. The production and use of these sprinklers exclusively took place in the eastern regions and continued until the end of the fourth or beginning fifth century. The specimen AJAM 047 is probably from the first production period, second half of the third century.


Intact, small chip at the mouth edge.


2017, Helios Gallery Antiquities, Rock House, Lower Kingsdown, Wiltshire (UK).

2015, British collector/dealer, Christopher Richard Seton Sheppard, 1949-2015, London (UK).

During the 80s and 90s of the twentieth century sold antique glass to prominent museums and private collections.


The Patrician House Dordrecht (NL), Glass through the ages, exp. No.AAD012

11 April – 7 October 2018


Fire and Sand, Ancient Glass in the Princeton University Art Museum (USA), A. Antonara No. 418.

Roman, Byzantine and Early Midieval Glass, Ernesto Wolff collection (D), E.M. Stern No. 133.

Gläser der Antike, Sammlung Oppenländer, (D), A von Saldern, no. 692.

Victoria & Albert Museum London (GB), inventory No.8129.


Posted in Uncategorized by Allaire Collection of Glass on May 21, 2023

ONE-HANDLED CUP From Nico F. Bijnsdorp


Early 2nd century AD. Western Empire.

H: 10.5 cm. D max: 11.0 cm. D rim: 7.2 cm. Weight: 99gr.

Classification: Isings 1957: Form 57. Condition: Intact.


Pattern-blown. Handle applied.


Transparent bluish green glass. Squat bulbous body with sides slightly tapering downwards. Shallow concave bottom without pontil mark.  Almost horizontal shoulder, very short concave neck topped by upright rim, rounded in flame. A broad plain strap handle applied just below shoulders, arching above rim and attached to lip, pinched twice horizontally to form step ladder one time vertically to form a thumb rest. Excess glass folded back at backside and front side of thumb rest.


1 March 2007, from the collector David G. Giles, London, UK.


Ex collection David G. Giles, London, UK.

Ex collection Michael Ball (who obtained from Charles Ede in 1990).


Fremersdorf 1958, R-G Museum Köln, Tafel 17., Auth 1976, Newark Museum, No. 106., Eisen 1927, p. 334-336, Plate 88e., Fremersdorf 1958, The Römisch-Germanisches Museum Köln, No. 17., Hermann Historica 21/22 April 2016, Lot No. 4598..The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Acc. No. 81.10.13


Posted in Uncategorized by Allaire Collection of Glass on May 16, 2023



Author Hans van Rossum

Date: 1st century B.C.E. – 1st century A.D. | Roman Empire, probably a product of Aquileia (Northern Italy), in ancient times an important centre for the production of objects carved out of semiprecious stones and of rock crystal, which was imported from Noricum (today Austria). Size:↑ 7.1 cm | ø 5.0 cm | Weight:184 g

Technique: Carved out of a piece of rock crystal. Bored out, cut, ground and polished

Condition: In a very good state of preservation, chip of the rim. Professionally restored by Restaura Haelen (NL) 2012. Traces of brown incrustation are preserved on the lower part of the amphoriskos.

Description: Body of the vessel with almost straight walls, rounded base and pointed bottom, broad shoulders. Short neck with a cut, ground and polished rim. Two handles at right angles, extend on either side joining the section immediately below the rim to  the shoulder of the piece. The exterior of the amphoriskos has a high polish, while the interior maintains traces of the abrasive tools used in fashioning the cavity. A piece of exceptional rarity.

Remark I: Rock crystal is derived from the Greek word krustallos which means ‘ice’. Because rock crystal looks like ice, the Greeks thought it was originated from frozen water. Diodorus Siculus (II-52) thought the development of rock crystal was a magic event. His opinion was that it was water which became hard, not by freezing but by fire of  God. So the general opinion in ancient times was that rock crystal had something to do with ice. It was Solinus (XV-29) who came in the 3rd century AD with the remark that rock crystal was not only found in cold areas but also in warm countries. Pliny the Elder (ca. 23 – 79 A.D.) makes mention of the Indian rock crystal which should be the most beautiful. Other places where it was found: in the area of Alabanda in Caria, (the Turkish part of Asia). Orthosia in current Libanon. Pliny tells us that in Cyprus, also, there is crystal, but that found upon the Alpine heights in Europe is, in general, more highly valued. (that rock crystal was probably used in the workshops of  Aquileia: HvR) Even for Western Spain and Portugal (Lusitania) rock crystal was an export product.

‘Cornelius Bocchus informs us that in Lusitania, there have been blocks of crystal found, of extraordinary weight, in sinking shafts in the Ammiensia mountains there, to a water-level for the supply of wells. It is a marvelous fact, stated by Xenocrates of Ephesus, that in Asia and in the Isle of Cyprus, crystal is turned up by the plough; it having been the general belief that it is never to be found in terreous soils, and only in rocky localities. That is much more probable which the same Xenocrates tells us, when he says that the mountain streams often bring down with them fragments of crystal. Sudines says, that crystal is only to be fhowever cold the climate may be, even though the rivers there freeze to the very bottom. Rain-water and pure snow are absolutely necessary for its formation, and hence it is, that it is unable to endure heat, being solely employed for holding liquids that are taken cold. From the circumstance of its being hexagonal and hexahedral, it is not easy to penetrate this substance; and the more pyramidal terminations do not always have the same appearance. The polish on its faces is so exquisite, that no art can possibly equal it’. (Pliny book XXXVII-9)

Pliny tells us that in ancient times vessels of rock crystal were the most valuable from all the vessels made from semiprecious stone. The problem with rock crystal was the fragility of it and that made it extra valuable. Pliny’s opinion about this fragility: ‘gold and silver, in fact, became too common. From this same earth we have extracted vessels of murrhine (or myrrhine) and vases of crystal, objects the very fragility of  which is considered to enhance their value. In fact, it has come to be looked upon as a proof of opulence, and as quite the glory of luxury, to possess that which may be irremediably destroyed in an instant’. (Pliny book XXXII-2)

‘The largest block of crystal that has ever been beheld by us, is the one that was consecrated by Julia Augusta in the Capitol, and which weighted about one hundred and fifty pounds’ according to Pliny and he also says that a rich Roman with the name of Vedius Pollio killed a slave directly after breaking a rock crystal cup during a banquet. (Pliny book XXXVII-10).

The same book tells about the emperor Nero: ‘Nero, on receiving tidings that all was lost, in the excess of his fury, dashed two cups of crystal to pieces; this being his last act of vengeance upon his fellow-creatures, preventing any one from ever drinking again from these vessels’. Crystal, when broken, cannot by any possibility be mended. The fragility of this material is also the reason that only a few vessels survived. Vessels in glass have been brought to a marvelous degree of resemblance to crystal; and yet, wonderful to say, they have only tended to enhance the value of crystal, and in no way to depreciate it.

Remark II: By using a polariscope it is possible to see if the material is glass or rock crystal. It is an instrument for ascertaining, measuring, or exhibiting the properties of polarized light or for studying the interactions of polarized light with optically transparent media.

In case of rock crystal, colors as violet and pale green can be observed in the material. Glass is not showing any color. Without any doubt can be established that this object is made of rock crystal. The sanding and grinding traces show unambiguously that the amphoriskos is made by hand, and in antiquity.

Photographs that are taken from the surface, under a microscope and magnified 100 times. The third photo is magnified 400 times (!) and shows a so-called ‘ladder scratch’.

Research by Mr. Hans de Kruyk, Leerdam (NL), former researcher at the laboratory of the B.V. Koninklijke Nederlandsche Glasfabriek, Leerdam, 22 June 2011

Remark III ‘As to the productions themselves, the greatest value of all, among the products of the sea, is attached to pearls: of objects that lie upon the surface of the earth, it is rock crystal that are most highly esteemed: and of those derived from the interior adamas, smaragdus, precious stones, and murrhine, are the things upon which the highest value is placed’. (Pliny book XXXVII-77).

According to Picón, et al. (Art of the Classical World in the Metropolitan Museum of Art,

p. 483), ‘’In Hellenistic and Roman times, vessels made in semiprecious stone were much sought after as symbols of wealth and sophistication. Used as diplomatic gifts or treasured as heirlooms, many of them found their way into royal tombs or imperial collections, both in antiquity and later.’’ The most common materials for such vessels were banded agate and rock crystal.

Provenance: With Helios Gallery Antiquities, Wiltshire, UK 23 June 2011-inventory no. H1002, bought from a UK dealer.,

Ex- Jose Francisco de Albuquerque Gueifao Ferreira collection Portugal, acquired between 1979-1998., Private Austrian collection, early 20th Century (In the past, Aquileia was part of Austria)

References: Veritas Auctioneers, Lisbon auction 57, 5 July 2016 lot 4 for a striking identical example Kölner Münzkabinett, Cologne, auction 23 October 2012 lot 108 Venerable Traditions, Fortuna Fine Arts Ltd. 2007, cat. no. 7 Christie’s New York, 10 December 2004 lot 548 Sothebys New York, 12 June 2001, lot 94 for an almost identical example Antike Gefäβe aus Edelsteinen, H.P. Bühler 1973, nos 37, 44, 45 & 56

                                Rock Crystal Amphoriskos ↑ 7.5 cm              Rock Crystal Amphoriskos ↑ 6.5 cm

                                Shining Vessels, Fortuna Fine Arts Ltd.      Christie’s New York, 10-12-2004, lot 548         

                               Catalogue no. 32 (1991)                              

By: Juan Antonio Cerpa Niño

During autumn 1979 two archaeological emergency intervations have been carried out at calle Escalzo, an area situated just outside the walls of Cádiz (Spain). There were suspicions that there could be several graves dated from the 4th century B.C. and later. A Roman complex was found, dated from the time of the emperor August (1st century B.C.- 1st century A.D.)

Seven very solid structured buildings have been excavated. The lower part of which contained niches, all of which turned out to be looted. Archaeologists found fragments of two alabaster urns. Given the monumental character, it was decided to gradually dismantle these buildings in case the looters missed one of the niches. To the surprise of the archaeologists, grave no. 25 turned out to be completely intact. They found a cinerary urn in a lead container with the bones of a cremation, and a huge treasure, consisting of many amphorae as well as mollusks and insects, all made from rock crystal; an agate hydra and several objects of gold, silver and amber. Never before such a impressive treasure was found anywhere in the world. These grave goods were of inestimable value and extraordinary beauty. They testified to an unparalleled and high level of craftmanship.

Given as offerings to a deceased girl who must have been the daughter of a very wealthy patrician family from the city of Cádiz and who lived in the first century A.D. The quality of these fourteen rock crystal amphorae is exceedingly high. How the various amphorae, molluks and insects were made remains a mystery.

Up to 1839 rock crystal was considered a non-fusible material (quartz glass). It must be stated that in ancient times people were not aware of the possibility that rock crystal was fusible. So all the objects must have been cut from a block of rock crystal (7 on the scale of Mohs). That implies that one must have worked with tools that included diamonds (10 on the scale of Mohs). So the question remains which tools they have worked with.


Posted in Uncategorized by Allaire Collection of Glass on May 11, 2023

Merovingian Glass Bowl with White Threads


        The Windmill Collection of Ancient Glass

Date: 5th-first quarter 6th century A.D.

Origin: The Netherlands (near Maastricht)

Size: ↑ 5.2 – 5.8 cm │ Ø 13.9 – 14.5 cm

Classification: Siegmund, Rheinland Phase 3 Gla 1-3; Harden (1956) group Xb; Feyeaux (2003) type 81-1A

Condition: Restored, many small air bubbles

Description: Free-blown dish of transparent light green glass, with walls that slope upwards from the slightly upwelling bottom. Just below the finished edge, the glass blower applied an opaque white enamel thread decoration with (maximum) 7 turns. Rest of pontil present on bottom.

Remarks: The bowl has been found together with a slightly smaller specimen in a Merovingian grave near Maastricht (1995 Christopher Cooper). Probably manufactured in the Mosel region. Merovingian or Frankish dishes in various versions, with or without decoration, have been found in Germany (Rademacher 1942), the Netherlands, Belgium (Alenus-Leclerc (1995) and Northern France (Y. Feyeux 1995). They have also been found in England, these are believed to have been imported from the mainland.

Published: 2012 Antiquities auction Christie’s New York June 8th 1995 Sheppard & Cooper (Glass of the Dark Ages no. 20)

Reference: Musée d’Epernay (Marne, France); Allaire Collection of Glass ,U.S.A.


Posted in Uncategorized by Allaire Collection of Glass on May 6, 2023


Author Hans van Rossum

One should not bring the bath oils to the public baths in a glass container as these can break and cause injury. (Derekh Erezt Rabbah ~ 160 – 220 CE)

The above advice by the Jewish scholar was, probably, not so much followed. The glass container undoubtedly referred to the glass aryballoi. Exactly that type of container was frequently used in the Roman thermal baths like the one in Bath (UK), see photo. The word thermal stems from thermos, meaning warm. Thermal baths were complexes with warm and cold baths more or less like our modern saunas or baths. Massages were also available perhaps using the (fragrant) oils brought from home. The baths were quite important to the Romans. These were not only facilities to get writ of the dirt and grime but, also meeting points for discussions, making deals, or debating politics. The baths played an important social and business role. Large complexes have been unearthed like the one in Heerlen in the Netherlands. The largest one in the Low Lands.

The aryballos was during Roman times an inseparable accoutrement for the visitors to the baths. She or he carried the aryballos from home with a small attached handle or with i.e. a bronze chain and stopper. Entering the baths one would at first go to the apodyteria, the respective changerooms for female and male visitors. The smaller baths usually had only one apodyterium and used different opening hours for females and males. The clothes were nicely stored away and the visitor went to the caldarium. A space with a temperature of approx. 40º C. and a humidity of around 80%. Just like our nowadays sauna’s.

The plunge pool was called the alveus. From there one went to the sudatorium, the sweat room. Just like in modern times. From there one could go to the tepidarium, a room with a moderate temperature. One could also see the masseur handing him the aryballos with the fragrant oils brought from home which could be applied.

The masseur would disperse some sand over the oily body followed by cleansing using a strigil, a scraper made of bronze, steel to finish the cleansing process. The body got a nice smell from the applied oils. To finish off one visited the frigidarium, the cold room. There was enough time in the whole

process to socialize. One would get dressed again and go her or his way. This cleansing ritual was followed for quite some centuries and ended somewhere in the 4th century CE, probably due to the influence of Christianity.

The thermal baths, like the one in Heerlen, were often related to the Roman fortifications. Those combined facilities often lead to larger settlements and thriving communities. The presence of troops, the fortifications and the security accommodated trade and the development of agriculture and the likes thereof. During the for centuries existing baths in Coriovallum, Heerlen, many a thousand aryballoi have been used by the visitors to the baths. Without a doubt many aryballoi went to pieces, as not all the visitors followed the wise words of Rabbah. However, fortunately many were saved as the happy collectors can attest. As the aryballoi had also a kind of “show-off” function all kinds of forms and shapes developed.

The story behind the aryballos.

No known glass form from antiquity equals this flask or it should be the oinochoe, a pitcher, sometimes with a so-called cloverleaf spout. The earliest examples of aryballoi go back to the Egypt of the 18th dynasty (1550 – 1292 BCE). The term aryballos was originally used for a ceramic spherical oil jar as of the 7th century BCE. The originally Greek term kept on being used when in the Greek and Hellenistic period the jars were formed thru the glass forming technique called core forming. The description aryballos becomes a generic term for spherical formed (bath) oil containers in Roman times. However, a Roman aryballos can also get different forms and shapes, like semi-circular, squat, bi-conical, or even hexagonal. In all cases these containers are called ampulla olearia, or aryballos.                

The early free blown examples come into existence in the 1st century CE from glass production centers in the Eastern Mediterranean region in the coastal areas of Syria and Palestine. These can be recognized by their relatively long necks and handles made of a glass thread in a contrasting color. As far as known there are almost no intact objects or fragments unearthed in the Syrian-Palestine region. The assumption is therefore that the mono-, bicolored and polychrome aryballoi were made for export to the other areas in the Roman empire which were dotted with thermal baths. In that early period, one should mainly think of the settlements and cities around the Dalmatian coast. That’s also the area where finds have been reported of early type aryballoi especially the polychrome ones. The same can be said for Northern Italy and the bordering areas, for Switzerland, Vindonissa and Locarno, Pompei, the Aegean area, the Crimea and other areas in Asia-Minor. From this one could conclude that in Northern Italy and neighboring regions manufacturing centers were active producing at least the polychrome variation of the early aryballoi.

One could postulate that those manufacturing centers could very well have been created by Syrian immigrants during the first half of the 1st century CE. Immigration is of all times. These colorful variants were created let’s say from the years 20 to 30 of the 1st century with the summit around 50 CE. This production would rather quickly seize around 70 CE after which period hardly any polychrome glass was produced. That could very well have been caused by the invention of the metal blow pipe and the very much simplified methods in glass working and a form of standardization thereof. It’s also quite possible that the polychrome glass got out of fashion. Yes, all times have times so also in that period one could steal the show with something new like a “bling” aryballos.  

The thermal baths played also an important role in the day to day doings of the people in the times of the Roman Empire. Sand was a cleansing medium in the baths but is also the main ingredient for making glass. The baths also functioned as a kind of neighborhood center were people could gossip, exchange the most recent news, or play board games. Not to say that plots could be developed around politics or politicians. Who says that the baths didn’t play a role in many plots around the impeachment of a reigning emperor or the succession thereof? One sees what a role small objects like aryballoi can have in history.         


Date: Second half of 1st – early 2nd century, Eastern Mediterranean, probably Asia Minor

Size: ↑7.3 cm| (body) ø 7.0 cm | Weight 188 g Technique: Free blown, handles and bronze acc. applied

Classification: Sorokina 1987: fig. 1-8 (rim), type C6 (handles) Morin-Jean 1977: handles θ| Isings 1957: form 61

Condition: Perfect condition, small part of rim restored

Description: Transparent bluish-green glass aryballos, globular body, round base and short neck; triangle-shaped mouth, rim folded outward, downward, upward and inward. Two glass handles applied to the shoulder, drawn up and down forming a circular hole; handles attached to the shoulder again by using a hand-held tool; bronze looped carrying handle in form of inverted U; the handle attached to two bronze rings which pass through the two glass handles. The bronze rings made by bending length of         wire into circle held in place by twisting the overlapping ends. A bronze chain attached to one of the rings and connected to a bronze stopper. No pontil mark. Exceedingly rare.

Remark: Greek and Roman athletes carried aryballoi filled with oil to clean their bodies after the exercises by applying the oil together with fine sand on their skin to absorb the dirt and then scraping it with a strigil.

Provenance: Acquired from the Collection C. A. Hessing – Laren (NL) on the 25 May 1998, coll. no. 74 Private collection Axel Weber Cologne, acquired in the 1970s Private collection Rhineland

Published: Glass Circle News, Issue 133, Vol. 36 no. 3, 2013 Vormen uit Vuur no. 220 – 2013, p. 17, Romeins Glas uit particulier bezit, J. van der Groen & H. van Rossum 2011, p. 96, De Oude Flesch, 2011 no. 124 p. 14

Published: Newspaper De Telegraaf, 27 May 2011, p. T13, Magazine Origine (NL) no. 6, January – February 1997

Exhibited: Thermenmuseum Heerlen (NL), Romeins Glas, geleend uit particulier bezit, exp. 29 April – 28 August 2011

Museum: Simon van Gijn Dordrecht (NL), February 2004, Allard Pierson Museum A’dam (NL), de Kunst van het Vuur, 2001, ill. no. 61, cat. no. 44, 17 May – 16 September 2001

References: Les Verres Antiques du Musée du Louvre II, V. Arveiller – Dulong & M.D. Nenna 2005 no. Gallo-Romeins Museum at Tongeren (B) for an identical example, not described, A Collection of Ancient Glass 500 BC – 500 AD, P.L.W. Arts 2000 n Christie’s London 3 July 1996 lot 37, Verres Antiques et de l’Islam, Ancienne Collection de Monsieur D(emeulenaere) Juin 1985 lot 223


Date: Second half of 1st – early 2nd century A.D.| Found in Cologne Size: ↑11.8 cm | ø 4.7 cm|Weight 132 g

Technique: Mold-blown, by using a dip-mold; body optically blown; neck and mouth free blown; handles applied

Classification: Sorokina 1987: type A D8 | Morin-Jean 1977: Form 33D, fig. 57, handles type ζ Kisa 1908: Band II nr. 2, p. 317 for the type of the handles

Condition: Intact with rest of original substance, perfect condition and almost unique

Description: A transparent bluish-green hexagonal bottle. Tapering body, mouth-form with small opening and triangular hollow rim. Flattened base, no pontil mark. Two opposed handles applied to the shoulder, drawn up to top-part of neck and pulled down    forming a hole. Two bronze rings, made by bending length of wire into circle held in place by twisting the overlapping ends, the rings pass through the two glass handles. Bronze looped carrying handle in form of an omega (Ώ) attached to the two bronze rings by folding the end. Marks of a ‘gripper’ to complete the bottle are still visible.

Remarks: An aryballos with a hexagonal body in this shape and including the original bronze attributes is exceedingly rare. At the base in white paint R22.

Provenance: Acquired from the Collection C.A. Hessing – Laren (NL) on the 26 October 1998, coll. no. 75, Private collection Axel Weber Cologne, prior to 1995 Formerly part of the Wünnenberg collection, Germany (found in Cologne)

Published: Romeins Glas uit particulier bezit, J. v.d. Groen & H. van Rossum 20 De Oude Flesch, no. 121, 2010, p. 23 Antiek Glas, de Kunst van het Vuur, (17 May – 16 September 2001) R. van Beek no. 110 Magazine Origine (NL) no. 6, January – February 1997

Exhibited: Thermenmuseum Heerlen (NL), Romeins Glas, geleend uit particulier bezit, exp. no. 173, 29 April – 28 August 2011 Museum,Simon van Gijn Dordrecht (NL), February 2004, Allard Pierson Museum Amsterdam (NL), de Kunst van het Vuur, exp. no. 110, 17 May – 16 September 2001

References: Verrerie d´Epoque Romaine, Collection des Musées Départementaux de Seine Maritime, G. Sennequier 1985 no. 214

La Verrerie de l’Epogue Romaine, au Musée d’Histoire et d’Art-Luxembourg,  E. Wilhelm 1979 no.90, De Romeinse Glasverzameling, M. Vanderhoeven 1962 no. 73, Römisches geformtes Glas in Köln, Band VI, F. Fremersdorf 1961 Tafel 121. nos. N 391 & 921, Verres Romains des Musées Curtius et du Verre a Liège, M. Vanderhoeven 1961, 125-126


1st century A.D. | Roman Empire Size↑of the whole set when hanging on the ring circa 26.5 cm; height of the strigils circa 19.5 cm | ø of the ring circa 8.5 cm | Weight of the whole set 100 g Technique: Embossed bronze Classification: Giovannini & Maggi type D for the mark or stamp and no. 1 for the position of the mark.

Description: A set of two strigils, connected by an original bronze carrying ring. Each strigil with a long and hollow rounded knife-blade, sharp on the edges to scrape the skin and approximately in the middle of the knife-blade bent at right angles. The open-worked handle of more massive bronze attached to the knife-blade. The strigils in this set are decorated by a series of lines along the scrapers, and have markings on the inside of the handles.

Condition: Intact with a very attractive patina, showing shades of green, red-brown and blue (traces of azurite); some incrustation and surface wear; some roughness at the ring and the tip of one of the scrapers. An exceedingly special set, rarely seen on the market.

Remarks: A strigil was a body scraper, used in antiquity to clean the body. Athletes’ would apply a mixture of low-grade olive oil and pumice to their bodies before competing or exercising, which they did completely naked. Coating the bodies in oil was done to  avoid dirt from getting into the pores of the skin, but possibly also to avoid sunburn.  Afterwards they used strigils to scrape off the oil as well as the sand and dirt which had stuck to it during the contest. But not only athletes used strigils, everybody who          wanted to clean his body could use one.

 Strigils: were made in different sizes and shapes to suit different parts of the body; sets were sometimes attached to a chain or ring, which went round the wrist for convenience in carrying, and could be combined with an aryballos for the oil like the two published ones. Such sets can also be found in major museums like the British Museum London (inv. no. GR 1868, 0105.46) and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York (accession number 40.59a-e). To use a strigil, the ring could be opened to take out one scraper.

Provenance: With Alexander Ancient Art, Voorschoten (NL) 7 March 2014, inv. no. C0725 Dutch Private collection C.B.Christie’s London, auction 8 April 1998 lot 326

Published: Alexander Ancient Art, catalogue 2013 Literature & Marchi di fabbrica su strigili ad Aquileia’, in Epigrafia della produzione e della  

References: distribuzione. Actes de la VIIe rencontre Franco-Italienne sur l’épigraphie du monde romain.                         

Rome: Ecole francaise de Rome, pp. 609-643, E. Giovannini & P. Maggi Games for the Gods. The Greek Athlete and the Olympic Spirit (Boston, Museum of Fine Arts Publications, 2004), J. Herrmann & C. Kondoleon, p. 132 The Ancient Olympic Games (London, British Museum Press, 1999), J. Swadding, p. 48 with illustrati Argenti a Pompei, P. G. Guzzo nos. 134 & 135 for an identical set of two (silver) strigils with carrying ring

Different Forms of Aryballoi

Allaire Collection of Aryballoi

Roman Bathhouse (Thermae) in Bath (UK)

The room shown above is to store the clothes nicely away and other one of the bath’s in the Thermae, complex


Posted in Uncategorized by Allaire Collection of Glass on May 1, 2023


Date/Origin 4th – 5th century AD. Probably Egypt.

Dimensions/Weight H: 22.2 cm. D max: 8.6 cm. D rim: 4.2 cm. Weight: 84 gr.

Condition: Intact. Extremely clear glass, beautifully preserved.

Technique: Free blown. Wheel abraded.

Description: Transparent colorless glass, with a bluish-green tinge on neck. The pear-shaped body on a concave base. Flaring neck and ground rim. The bodywith a wheel engraved horizontal lattice work frieze framed above and below with fine wheel engraved lines. Two large bunches of grapes hang from the frieze, festoons between the grapes. The lower part of the body with a band of broad wheel-engraved diagonal lines framed above and below by fine wheel-engraved lines. The funnel-shaped neck with a band of fine wheel-engraved lines.

Acquired:12 June 2001, Sotheby’s New York.

Remarks: A similar flask with the same or similar form and decoration could not be traced.

Provenance: Ex James Bomford Collection., Ex Benzian Collection.

Published Sotheby’s 12 June 2001, No. 159., Sotheby’s 7 July 1994, The Benzian Collection, No 143. Sotheby’s 3 July 1978, No. 58. Kunz 1981, 3000 Jahre Glaskunst, No.348.

Exhibited; The National Museum of Antiquities, Leiden (NL), “GLASS”, 1 June 2020 –28 February 2021. Kunstmuseum Luzern, “DREITAUSEND JAHRE GLASKUNST”, 19 July –13 September 1981, No. 348.

References Sotheby’s 4/5 June 1979, Constable Maxwell Collection, No. 264 (for the decoration).


Posted in Uncategorized by Allaire Collection of Glass on April 26, 2023

Double Glass Balsamarium of Hans van Rossum

Date: Late 4th century A.D.| Syro-Palestinian region Size↑10.5 cm | ø 4.5 cm (bottom) | Weight 78 g

Technique: Free blown, thread and handles applied; tooled

Classification: Stern 2001: type I, Class C-2a | Dussart 1998: BXIII.2211 nr. 21 | Barag 1970 type XII 2

Condition: Intact, colorful and silvery iridescence

Description: Translucent green glass, rim folded inward; two tubular phials, bulging slightly at bottom. Two angular side-handles, applied on top of tubes and attached to edge of rim. Flattened base, rest of pontil.

Remark I: Kohl tubes with two compartments were made by squeezing an elongated bubble in such a way that the sides touched lengthwise. A shallow channel on one side of the finished vessel (the ‘’back’’) corresponds to a deep cleavage on the other side (the ‘’front’’). Apparently, ancient glass workers pressed both sides simultaneously. For the purpose of these kohl tubes: see information p. 140.          

Remark II: Identical examples were found at Jalame workshop, located at Khirbat el-Ni’ana, 40 km northwest of Jerusalem.

Provenance: Acquired from the Collection of Mr. T. Claus and Mrs. L. W. C Capelle a. d. IJssel (NL) on the 11 February 2017 coll. no. AR 16 With Jacques Schulman B.V. Amsterdam (NL) Fixed Price-List no 218, October 1981 art. 88, acquired on the 8 March 1982 by Mr. and Mrs. Claus.

References: Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, Collection of Mediterranean Antiquitie Vol. 1, The Ancient Ancient Glass, B. Caron & E.P. Zoïtopoúlou 2008 no. 137 Vom Luxusobjekt zum Gebrauchsgefäβ, Vorrömische und römische Gläser M. Honroth 2007 no. 110 Ancient  Glass  in  the  Israel  Museum,  The  Eliahu Dobkin Collection and  Other Gifts, Israeli 2003 no. 288 Roman and Pre-Roman Glass in the Royal Ontario Museum, J. W. Hayes 1975 no. 359 Ancient Glass at the Newark Museum, S.H. Auth 1976 no. 482, inv. no. 50.1550 



Posted in Uncategorized by Allaire Collection of Glass on April 20, 2023


From Nico F. Bijnsdorp


6th century AD. Syro-Palestinian. H: 25.3 cm. D max: 5.9 cm. Weight: 230 gr.

Classification:Stern 2001: Class VIII G 4a.

Condition: Intact. Horizontal trailing partly lost. Crack in one tube.

Technique: Free blown, tooled. Handles and trails applied.

Description: Translucent natural bluish-green glass. Four tubular phials, in two rows of two, made from a single paraison of glass by pressing-in the sides to form separated compartments. Solid base section linking the phials together, with flattened bottom and pontil mark. Rims outplayed, tubular with wide folds on inside. Thread of plain glass wound spirally horizontally around the phials. Four thick threads trailed up the sides of body, in a series of five loops each, with bulbous lower ends linked to bottom and upper ends trailed onto lip. Series of thick (plain glass) trailed handles rising high above rim in an open work, three tiered pattern: two handles arched above sides of rim, with lower ends attached on top of side-trails, two arched handles at right angles thereon, and a fifth arched handle at right angles on top of the latter two.

Remarks: The elaborate decoration of this type of kohl tube makes it virtually unusable as a container for unguents. Presumably they were intended for display or decoration rather than to be utilized.

Acquired: 12 June 1997, Sotheby’s London.

Published: Groen & Rossum 2011, exhibition catalogue “Romeins glas uit particulier bezit”, Thermenmuseum Heerlen (NL), p. 74. , Antiek Glas 2001, video film Allard Pierson Museum., Beek 2001, exhibition catalogue Allard Pierson Museum, p. 11, Afb. 34., Sotheby’s 12 June 1997, No. 221.

Exhibited: Allard Pierson Museum Amsterdam, “Antiek Glas, de kunst van het vuur”,17 May – 16 September 2001. Exhibition No. 73., Museum Dordts Patriciërshuis, Dordrecht (NL), “Glas door de eeuwen heen”,11 April – 11 November 2018.

References: Loudmer 1985, Collection Monsieur D., No. 427., Saldern 1980, Hans Cohn Collection, No. 100., Saldern 1974, Oppenländer Collection, No. 681b., Hayes 1975, Ontario Museum, No. 457, Sotheby’s 4/5 June 1979, Constable Maxwell Collection, Nos. 243 and 245.

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