Ancient Glass Blog of The Allaire Collection


Posted in Uncategorized by Allaire Collection of Glass on May 23, 2019

The Roemers and Berkemeyers shown in this post all have stems decorated with smooth spherical prunts.  A prunt is a blob of glass applied to a glass object mostly on the stem.  Usually these prunts have bumps (called raspberry prunts) or have pulled spikes coming out of the center of the prunt.  Smooth spherical prunts on vessels are rarer.

The Berkemeyers were the forerunners of the Roemers.  Made in the 15th C. as short beakers they had a conical shaped bowl attached to an open stem decorated with pulled drops or prunts.

Roemer (Dutch) or Römer (German) is a type of wine or beer glass that evolved in the Rhineland and the Netherlands from the 17th Century.  They have their roots in the Waldglas (Forest glass) particularly the Berkemeyer, Krautstrunk and Nuppenbecher of the later Middle Ages which were produced in northern Germany, the Low Countries and central Europe.  The Roemer style glass is still being produced today.


Posted in Uncategorized by Allaire Collection of Glass on May 20, 2019

TWIN-LOOPED BOTTLE of Hans van Rossum

Date: 5th century AD | Found: in the surrounding area of Sebaste (Samaria-Israel)

Size:↑12.7 cm | ø 7.0 cm | Weight: 94 g

Technique: Free blown, handles applied

Description: Transparent yellowish green glass, piriform body, long cylindrical neck, wide mouth. Tubular rim folded outward and inward. Twin-looped handles applied on the shoulder, drawn up and nearly attached along the neck, drawn up again and attached to the edge of the rim. Highly indented base with pontil mark.

Condition: Intact and almost clear

Provenance: Jerusalem art market, Jerusalem 12 January 2005

Reference: Fire and Sand, Ancient Glass in the Princeton University Art Museum, A. Antonaras no. 212, Ancient Glass in the Israel Museum, The Eliahu Dobkin Collection and Other Gifts, Y. Israeli nos. 352 – 354 The Constable-Maxwell Collection of Ancient Glass no. 205 Gorny & Mosch Munich, Auktion Kunst der Antike no. 202, 14. December 2011 lot 134

This is a link to a second twin-looped handled bottle in the Hans van Rossum collection: TWIN-LOOPED HANDLE BOTTLE



Posted in Uncategorized by Allaire Collection of Glass on May 18, 2019

102E French glass holy water cruet with a shell finial

102E Small Holy Water Cruet

The colorless glass cruet is decorated on the shoulder with three small pincered handles and spout. The looped handle on top features a St. Jacob’s shell fashioned from a dip mold of sixteen points.

France: mid-18th Century
H: 15.5 cm
Ref: The Van Beek Collection, Lameris, 2015, #50, Verre O Usage et de Prestige: France 1500-1800, Bellanger, 1988, p.329


Posted in Uncategorized by Allaire Collection of Glass on May 14, 2019

The Dorflinger Factory Museum

The museum is located in beautiful White Mills Pennsylvania. The Museum is in renovated buildings which were part of the old Dorflinger Glas Works and in the Dorflinger-Suydam Wildlife Sanctuary. This link is to their website:

The glass collection is one of the Nation’s largest collection of American brilliant-cut Dorflinger glass displayed in the home of the founder.  It is more than 1,000 pieces of cut, engraved, etched, gilded and enameled crystal.

Beginning in the 1860s, Christian Dorflinger transformed White Mills from a sleepy hamlet on the banks of the Lackawaxen River into a bustling industrial center. For more than half a century the Dorflinger Glas Works produced exquisite cut lead crystal that graced many of America’s finest tables, including those of several White House administrations.

The museum is arranged so that it tells the story of how these glasses were made and shows how it was used in a beautiful period room. Below are pictures of the museum and the some of examples of the fine glass collection.


There are two Dorflinger museums in White Mills – the Dorflinger Glass Museum in the grey farmhouse (pictured below) where the family first lived when they came to White Mills, and the Dorflinger Factory Museum (above) in the old factory buildings.  The Dorflinger Glass Museum website is




Posted in Uncategorized by Allaire Collection of Glass on May 11, 2019

Roman glass simpulum From The Windmill Collection of Roman Glass

Date: 1st – early 2nd  Century A.D. ,  Adriatic Sea area Size: H =  7.4 → 10.0  cm, D = 5.7 c

Condition: completely intact

Classsification: Höricht 1995, form 17

Description: Translucent blue green free-blown glass. The wall of the body runs slightly bent from the folded edge to the applied foot, slightly welling up in the middle of the bottom. There is no pontil mark. The separately applied handle, fluttering wider on one side on the edge, initially runs straight up. From approx. 7 cm nodded twice and then with a bend culminating in a narrower end.

Remarks: Glass simpula or serving spoons are rare. The few glass ladles known from the literature all have an upright grip. The shape of the handle of this one is fairly unique, because the glass blower has, with a number of curves, ensured that this simpulum can also be hung up.  The glass serving spoon is derived from bronze and silver examples, probably mainly made in the Pompeii area. Like the bronze one in the House of Menander and the silver simpulum in the Casa di Lucius Habonius Primus, both with an inward-facing end of the handle for hanging. The dimensions of the glass serving spoons are generally considerably smaller than those of the bronze and silver ones.

Simpula were also depicted on the coins of Roman Emperors in the 1st and 2nd centuries AD. As one of the seven priest attributes of the Emperor in his function as Pontifex Maximus. Special is also a picture on a bronze coin of Empress Lucilla Augusta (163-189 AD) where on the other side is Vesta, Goddess of hearth, home and family, near an altar with a simpulum and a palladium in her hand. The Vestal Virgins lived together in a house near the Forum (Atrium Vestae), supervised by the Pontifex Maximus.

References: I Vetri Romani di Ercolane (Höricht); Magiche Transparenze, I vetri  dell’antica Albingaunum (Massabo); The Augustinus Collection of Ancient Glass (active link), Hans van Rossum (active link), Roman Glass of Slovenia (Lazar); Roman & Early Byzantine Glass,

Provenance: Private collection Lezoux (Lyon), S.E. France


Posted in Uncategorized by Allaire Collection of Glass on May 8, 2019

Most of the glass beakers of this type were found in dated excavations in parts of central and southern Europe. They are from the medieval period of late 12th to 14th century. It is thought that their use was for serving and consuming liquids in the homes.  The beaker examples shown here, made of colorless glass, illustrate a common form from the period decorated with horizontal rows of prunts.


Posted in Uncategorized by Allaire Collection of Glass on May 5, 2019


Date: First century AD. Western Empire, probably Italian, Campania.


Size: Each beaker: H: 13.0 cm. D: rim: 7.0 cm. D: base: 4.8 cm. Weight: 90 gr.

Condition: (L) Two cracks at  the rim and one at the inner lower body. Fine bluish silver iridescence. (R) Tiny chip to the rim. Fine golden green iridescence.

Technique: Blown into three-part mold: two vertical parts and a third part for the disc shaped base.

Description: Transparent yellowish green glass. Downwards tapering cylindrical body, decorated with eight vertical ellipse formed indentations, framed by parallel raised ridges and separated by vertical rows of dots and dimples, connected at the bottom side by festoon formed ridges. Rim cracked off and ground. Slightly concave base with two raised concentric circles around central boss. Horizontal raised concentric circle around the body 7 mm above base. No pontil mark.

Remarks: (1) Only two parallels of this type of beaker are known: one in Naples (from Pompei) and one in the Cologne Museum. This set of two identical beakers is unique. (2) Both beakers have the same height, diameter, weight and decoration. Most probably they were blown in the same mold by the same glassmaker. Also the parallels in Naples and Cologne have the same height and decoration, which may justify the assumption that there was only one workshop that made all four beakers. (3) These beakers may be compared with similar beakers with different ornaments, such as a “Lotus-bud beaker” (NFB 168) and a “Mythological beaker” (NFB 260). All of them have truncated conical bodies with cracked-off rims and can be classified as Isings form 31 or closely related.

Provenance: David and Jenny Giles Collection, London, UK. Sasson Collection, Jerusalem, Israel.

References: Fremersdorf 1961, Römisch Germanisches Museum, Köln, p 50, Tafel 99., Spinazzola 1928, Museo Archeologico Nazionale di Napoli, p 228.                         


Posted in Uncategorized by Allaire Collection of Glass on May 2, 2019

The master-glassmaker Ennion worked from about A.D. 30-70. His signature is known from fifty to fifty five surviving pieces, and many other works are attributed to him on the basis of style. He reportedly created the technique of mold-blowing glass vessels. Mold blowing: Inflating a parison of hot glass in a mold. The glass is forced against the inner surfaces of the mold and assumes its shape, together with any decoration that it bears. This new process allowed the vessel to be decorated as it was formed and permitted the creation of multiple copies of the same vessel. Ennion’s clear, precise designs distinguish his work; he also minimized the visibility of the lines caused by the seams in the mold.  Sometimes Ennion’s marketing genius is overlooked for he was one of the first artists to develop a brand name, “Ennion Made Me”.  The location of Ennion’s workshop is debated, in part because his work is found throughout the Roman Empire. Some scholars believe he worked in Sidon located in modern Lebanon, and later moved to northern Italy. The inscriptions he frequently used as decoration may provide a clue. Though his name may have been Semitic in origin, he signed it in Greek, the language of the eastern Mediterranean, not Italy. The city of Sidon, where he may have worked, had all the raw material for glass-making and extensive trade connections.  The Metropolitan Museum of Art and Corning Museum of Glass both had an exhibition on Ennion’s Roman glass 2015.  This was a fascinating show.  All these great works of glass in one place.

A comment was made by Hans van Rossum and Theo Zandbergen; that Ennion may have been a master mold-maker….so he made these amazing molds and put his name on it…and his workers were the glass blowers.  The title of this post should be: ENNION MASTER MOLD-MAKER IN ROMAN TIMES

The exhibition catalog: Ennion Master of Roman Glass is still available at this link. This book about the Glass master Ennion and the products he could blow in the first century AD.

Exhibition Catalogues Ennion Master of Roman GlassEnnion, indeed, he was THE Master of Roman Glass!!


Posted in Uncategorized by Allaire Collection of Glass on April 29, 2019

Two Prismatic Bottle From The Windmill Collection of Roman Glass

Date: 2nd Century AD Sizes: a. H = 7.8 cm     D = 3.0 – 3.2 cm b. H =  10.3 cm  D = 4.9 cm

Provenance:      Rhineland (Germany)

Description:     Green prismatic mold blown bottles with sunken shoulders,  the smaller one with slightly inwardly formed walls. Free blown cylindrical neck. No handles. Marks are provided on the underside, respectively in a cross and star shape.

Condition:         Both intact with irisation

Exhibited:        2011 Thermen Museum,  Heerlen (Nl), prismatic bottle b.

Remarks:           The majority of prismatic glass bottles have one applied handle. Without they are slightly less common. The (cross) basemark sub. a is described in Foy/Nenna 2006 vol.1 (F-Car 001/003) as being found under bottles from a Roman Villa in Montmaurin (S.W. Gaul)


Posted in Uncategorized by Allaire Collection of Glass on April 26, 2019



The Augustinus Collection of Ancient Glass

 Shape: AcoaG no: 56.   Isings form 8/27 | Morin-Jean type 19,

Date:  2nd/3rd. century A.D.

Size: ↑ 14.15 cm, | Ø Mouth out : 2.05 cm / in: 0.51 cm | Weight: 24 g  |

Technique: Blown to a square body with a long tubular neck by means of a mold; with a broad rim folded out, down and in, flattened on top surface, a small sprinkler hole created; sloping shoulders to the body; corners rounded; body indented equally on four sides to ensure a certain grip.

Description: Toilet bottle or Unguentarium with square indented body at one-half of total length (body: 7.2 cms, neck: 6.95 cms long); four vertical indentations of equal lenght and depth; base plain, with small concavity at center, no pontil mark visible. The bottle can stand on its own, while the neck is slightly excentrical in position. The opening of the mouth is restricted to a diameter of 0.51 cms, creating the possibility to use it, as with all of the sprinkler-flasks, to let precious liquid drip out, drop by drop, and for that reason it is called: Guttus | ’Tear-drop bottle’ in a non-technical context. (1)

Provenance & Condition: This Roman Glass Unguentarium was found, – following a written detail in the AcoaG-archive -, in Cologne in a grave situated near the church of Saint Severin, Sankt Severinskirche, along the road leading south out of the CCAA-Castellum, in two parts; body and neck were found separately, but closely lying together, with no parts missing; in 2015 an acurate assemblage was made by Restaura, Heerlen | Maastricht, NL. (2)

With silvery and golden iridescence; weathered allover, making the once clear colorless glass impossible to see through. The flask shows a similarity to the square-sided ‘Mercury flasks’, (Isings form 84) a taller shape with a trademark on the base that from the first century on did persist into the fourth century A.D. (3),

A remark is given by C. Isings that the Cologne-finds are not too trustworthy in their registration (read the text with form 27), but Fremersdorf states that the area near St. Severin’s Church was searched between 1923-1943, and once more in 1955, during a rather long period of time, so to speak, but no clue is given or could be found when the bottle came to the Augustinus collection. Acquired in Cologne before 1955; from a private dutch collection, first publication.


1). Closer information on the meaning of the tear-drop bottles, in connection to the burial-ceremony and the mourning ritual, can be found with: Vessels of Tears | the history of Emotions an exhibition organised in Aarhus, Denmark in 2017.

 2). Saint Severin’s Church | Sankt Severins-Kirche, see the reconstruction design of phase one | Rekonstruction von Bau I, (Greven Verlag Koeln, 1966) below, from ca 320 A.D. after the emperor Constantine the Great had given freedom to the Christian Religion in 312.

3). Mercury-flasks, see : ‘A Container of Grief? The Myth of the Tear bottle’ by: Ethnografica-blog, september 2017, the exhibition: ‘The Presence of Absence’. |

Philip Houben, Roemisches Antiquarium, Xanten 1853.


  1. Isings, form 8/27, 1957; Fremersdorf 1957, p 27 pl 24, no N253; Goethert-Polaschek 1977, form 76a ; Stern 1984, p 136, fig 5 ; De Tomaso 1990, type 64; Whitehouse 1997: CMG Volume 1, 237.

AcoaG 56.2)  Reconstruction drawing of Saint Severins Church , phase 1 ca 320 AD Fremersdorf cs. 1966.


(AcoaG 56.3) Philip Houben, Roemisches Antiquarium , a lithografic illustration from 1853. Tableau XXXIX.


%d bloggers like this: