Ancient Glass Blog of The Allaire Collection


Posted in 2. Ancient Glass, CATEGORIES OF GLASS TYPES ON THIS SITE, Roman Glass by Allaire Collection of Glass on February 22, 2018

Merovingian or Gallo-Roman Beaker

115E Gallo-Roman Glass Beaker

H: 11.5 cm
D: 4th –Early 5th Century AD

Gallo-Roman beaker 115E was made in the beginning of the Migration Period in the Western Provinces. The elegantly formed beaker is made of light olive green glass and stands on a conical base ring. Intact. Ex: Martin Wunsch collection, NYC.

Ref: David Whitehouse, Roman Glass in the Corning Museum of Glass, Volume 1, #177 P.115, Sotheby’s Nov 20 1987 Lot 133, #81, Memoires de Verre, # 74 P. 40, Verreries Antiques der Musee de Picardie # 319 P. 5



Posted in Uncategorized by Allaire Collection of Glass on February 21, 2018

SPRINKLER WITH FINS of Joop van der Groen



Roman Empire, Syrian-Palestinian area │ 3th – 4th century AD
Size: ↑ 9,2 cm; Ø max. (excl. fins) 6,5 cm; Ø rim 4,6 cm. │ Weight: 75 gram

Technique: Free blown. Tooled.
Description: Transparent bluish-green glass with a few small air bubbles. Body and neck separately blown and then pressed together. Short cylindrical neck with a small oval opening in the base. Funnel shaped mouth with a glass-thread at the underside. Rim folded outward, upward and inward. Bulbous body with two rows of four fins pulled out of the glass. Base flat, lightly pushed in upward. No pontil mark.
Condition: Intact with some weathering.
Remarks: A typical mark of sprinklers is the very small opening at the base of the neck that enables perfume to be poured out drop by drop. Sprinklers were used for sprinkling oneself as refreshment against the heat.  In the Roman time sprinklers were named gutturnia (singular: gutturnium).
Provenance: 2004 Galerie Rhéa, Zürich (Switzerland). Before 2004 in a private collection, Bern (Switzerland).
Published: Romeins glas uit particulier bezit (J. van der Groen & H. van Rossum, 2011).
Exhibited: Thermenmuseum Heerlen (NL), “Romeins Glas, geleend uit particulier bezit”, 29 April – 28 August 2011, exp. no. 127.
Reference: Gläser der Antike – Sammlung Erwin Oppenländer (A. von Saldern, 1974), no. 692; Roman and Pre-Roman Glass in the Royal Ontario Museum (J. Hayes, 1975), no. 157; Ancient Glass at the Newark Museum from the Eugene Schaefer Collection of Antiquities (S. Auth, 1976), no. 147; Römische Kleinkunst – Sammlung Karl Löffler (P. La Baume en J. Salomonson, 1976). no. 178; Glas der Antike – Kestner-Museum Hannover (U. Liepmann, 1982). no. 97.


Posted in Uncategorized by Allaire Collection of Glass on February 19, 2018

Half-oval Roman glass bowl with blobs of  The Windmill Collection of Roman Glass


Date: End of 4th- early 5th century A.D.

Size: H = 8.3 cm  D = 9.0 cm.

Classification: Isings 1957, variant 96b Goethert-Polascheck, form 49A Harter (1999), form B21

Provenance:Private collection Cologne (Germany)

Description: Transparent free-blown bowl of greenish a little soiled glass. The bowl runs from the bottom with a slight slope half-oval upwards, with the wall being outwards at an inch below the edge. Halfway on the round body there is a pattern of 11 blue dots, varying in size and arranged at an irregular distance from each other. The edge is not finished, seems to be pinched and then sharpened, there is no pontil mark.

Condition: intact

Remarks: To make the decoration, the glassblower probably placed colored beads at some distance from each other on a hard surface, after which he rolled out a heated glass post. After reheating and blowing out in the form, the dots have dropped in the surface, but remain cooler in the bowl as a thickening after cooling.

Bowls and cups with blobs are mainly found in the western part of the Roman Empire, but also to a lesser extent in the Eastern Mediterranean. It is striking that most published copies originating from the Eastern Mediterranean are light (bluish) in color and have engraved lines. For example, the bowl from the collections of Oppenländer, Bijnsdorp and those from the Princeton Museum. The Windmill-bowl, on the other hand, has no engraved lines, is slightly polluted greenish and has, among other things, streaks in the glass, possibly indicating a (later) production in the western Roman Empire as a transition to the Merovingian period. This is reinforced by the fact that according to a communication from the previous owner, this glass would have been found in the vicinity of Cologne. It is known that both in the Netherlands (Nijmegen) and in Rhineland-Westphalia, Belgica Gallica and more to the south, numerous finds of this kind of cups and bowls have been made.

Fremersdorf (1961) makes an extensive description of this type of cups and bowls with blobs in which he makes a classification in cups found in the Rhineland (but possibly having an eastern origin, cups made in the Danube region and Italy, and cups / bowls). with a certain eastern origin. The classification seems arbitrary.Although it is known that many glasses ended up in the Western provinces via the usual trade routes, but also the (with slightly more colored blobs) cups that characterize an undisputed Cologne production and the numerous finds in the West seem more likely that this type must also be manufactured in this region. Fremersdorf also makes a distinction in cups (usually with engraved lines) that are faintly shaped at the top and copies that are slightly more outwardly folded.

He describes, among other things, a similar bowl (Table 98, bottom right) with an almost identical pattern as the Windmill-copy. This bowl would be in the Landesmuseum Mainz (no. O.2153), has no engravings and would have been found in Dunapentele (current Dunaújváros in Hungary). Barkóczi (1988) also reports numerous finds in the former Roman province of Pannonia, a region located east of the Alps, surrounded by the Carpathians and the Balkan Mountains. The Danube flows through this area. He assumes these bowls and cups come from local production centers.

The function, depending on form and execution, is not unambiguous. Perhaps intended as a bowl and / or cup for drinking or used as a lamp. The latter quality is best known from the long conical specimens. In the literature, the name of the different versions is often used interchangeably, among others by Whitehouse (Corning Museum New York) and Isings (1957).

Reference: Harden 1987 Glass of the Ceasars nr. (different series of blobs); Oppenländer nr.727, Whitehouse part I nos.371 and 375; collection N.F. Bijnsdorp (NFB 227), regular bubble pattern; Fremersdorf (1961), Table 98, r.u.)

Crystal Glass Small Spirit Carafe

Posted in CATEGORIES OF GLASS TYPES ON THIS SITE, English Glass by Allaire Collection of Glass on February 18, 2018

Crystal Glass Small Spirit Carafe

This is an Arts & Crafts small spirit carafe. It is made of fine leaded glass in a clean and pleasing shape. The carafe was made by Powell & Sons (Whitefriars) Ltd in, England. In 1834 James Powell (1774–1840), purchased the Whitefriars Glass Company, a small glassworks off Fleet Street in London, believed to have been established in 1680. The company, mainly known for manufacturing stained glass windows, provided glass to other stained glass firms and a wide range of other handmade glassware. The Whitefriars Co. closed in 1980.

H: 5 ¼ inches
D: 1880

118E Arts & Crafts small spirit carafe

118E Arts & Crafts small spirit carafe


Posted in Uncategorized by Allaire Collection of Glass on February 16, 2018

Glass in The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Early Byzantine mold-blown glass vessels mainly can be put into two groups

Group I

Characteristics: Mostly made with blue green glass with one sub-group using Christian symbols and the second sub-group having stylized crosses, columns, palm fronds & simple geometric patterns. Below are examples of this group.



Group II

Characteristics: Mostly made with brown, sometimes bluish green glass with one sub-group using Christian, Jewish or geometric pattern symbols in four sided vessels.  The second sub-group also in brown glass in two shapes jugs and jars both squat in hexagonal vessels. Also stylized with Christian, Jewish or geometric patterns  symbols.



Posted in 3. European Glass, CATEGORIES OF GLASS TYPES ON THIS SITE, Merovingian Glass by Allaire Collection of Glass on February 15, 2018


This is a Frankish (Merovingian) glass beaker with fine trailing. The piece is made from bubbly glass with a slight green tinge and has a bell-shaped body on a small circular pad base. At the top there is a splayed lip and below it there is a neck band of fine trailing. Intact. Ex Martin Wunsch collection, NYC.

There is a similar glass beaker  in our collection 54E Frankish or Merovingian Beaker .

H: 10.3 cm

D: 5-6th Century AD

Ref: Vera I. Evison, Catalogue of Anglo-Saxon Glass in the British Museum, Plate 3 #49 P. 131

116E Merovingian trailed Beaker

116E Merovingian trailed Beaker

English Wine Glass

Posted in 3. European Glass, CATEGORIES OF GLASS TYPES ON THIS SITE, English Glass by Allaire Collection of Glass on February 14, 2018

Green English wine with blown hollow stem and dome foot.


Green English wine glass with blown hollow stem and dome foot. (82E)

82E Green English wine glass with blown hollow stem and dome foot.

H: 15 cm C. 1750

Bickerton # 1154, Fitzwilliam # 225c, Rijksmuseum #230


Posted in Uncategorized by Allaire Collection of Glass on February 12, 2018

JUGLET of Hans van Rossum

Date: 4th century AD | Eastern Mediterranean

 Size: ↑8.8 cm | ø 6.5 cm | Weight 48 g

Technique: Free blown, handle and trails applied

Description: Translucent pale yellow glass, squat globular body with decoration of turquoise-green glass, a fairly zigzag below belly with two – three straight lines of thread above.  Mouth with trefoil lip, flattened base; dark green glass handle applied on the shoulder, drawn up and attached to rim, folded, drawn up again, attached to edge of rim, forming a decorative projection. Neck-coil of dark green glass, covering the neck three times. No pontil mark.

Condition: Intact, small part of neck-coil is missing. Silvery iridescence.

Provenance: collection C.A. Hessing, Laren (NL) 26 October 1998, acquired in the 1990s, collection number 65

Published: Vormen uit Vuur no. 220 – 2013, p. 19

Exhibited: Thermenmuseum Heerlen (NL), Romeins Glas, geleend uit particulier bezit, exp. no. 74 29 April – 28 August 2011

Reference: Gläser der Antike, Sammlung Oppenländer, A. von Saldern no. 671 Christie’s New York, auction 3 June 1999, Ancient Glass formerly in the G. Sangiorgi Collection lot 203 Les Verres Antiques du Musée du Louvre II, V. Arveiller-Dulong & M.D. Nenna no. 1018 (rounded mouth)Fascinating Fragility, a Private Collection of Ancient Glass, N.F. Bijnsdorp no. NFB 122


Posted in Uncategorized by Allaire Collection of Glass on February 10, 2018

Mini Apothecary Bottle from: Elisabeth & Theo Zandbergen

Origin: most probably the Netherlands end 17th early 18th century.

Dimensions:  H = 4,2 cm.; ø mouth 3 cm.; weight 19,6 grams.

Description: A mini apothecary bottle also called an albarello. This one made of green glass with quite some air bubbles in the metal.

Remarks: These type of bottles were used as containers in the apothecaries to store or sell ointments or other medical balms or what have you. This one is a very small one and was most probably used for some (potent) ointment. These albarelli were both made in stoneware and glass. They all have the same type of mouth to enable the wrapping with a piece of vellum tight down with a piece of rope in the “collar” of the mouth.

Parallel: Henkes, Glas zonder Glans, Glass without gloss, pg. 329, nr. 66.14 and 66.16.

Below other albarelli also from our collection(s).


Posted in Uncategorized by Allaire Collection of Glass on February 8, 2018

GLASS STRIGIL of Hans van Rossum



                                End 2nd – 3rd century AD | Western part of the Roman Empire, Cologne or Gaul

Size ↔ 21.0 cm | Weight 50 g

Technique: Free blown, tooled

Description: Yellowish-green and transparent glass, the handle made of massive glass, twisted two times in two directions, top part pressed together to make a flat, discoid base.  Probably this base was decorated with a small aryballos like no. 249 of F. Fremersdorf & E. Polóny – Fremersdorf, Die farblosen Gläser der Frühzeit in Köln.  Blade made of thick glass, missing top part. On the handle a mark in red: 17.194.1274.

Condition: Good condition, top-part of blade and decoration on top-base missing

Remarks I: 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.

Remarks II: Strigils were usually made of bronze and an example made of glass is exceptional. Only a small number of glass strigils are known. The Corning Museum of Glass has two glass strigils, which are intact; the Metropolitan Museum of Art has one with missing handle – part; the Römisch-Germanischen Museum Köln has two striking identical examples, but damaged and parts of three other glass strigils. The Rheinischen Landesmuseum in Bonn has one, restored and found in Eschweiler-Laurensberg, cross-point Aachen. One intact example was part of the formerly private collection P.L.W. Arts, no. 51.

Remarks III: They were not practical scrapers for use at the baths but were symbolic gifts for the dead, who, it was believed, could use them in the afterlife.

Provenance: Auctioneers and Appraisers, Maryland USA, auction September 2016 lot 1036

Reference: Die farblosen Gläser der Frühzeit in Köln, F. Fremersdorf & E.Polónyi-Fremersdorf, nos.  248 – 252 Christies Antiquities London, auction 6 October 2011 lot 215 Metropolitan Museum of Art New York, accession no. 15.43.197 (Mary Anna Palmer Draper 1914) Römisches und Fränkisches Glas in Köln, O. Doppelfeld nr. 42 Roman, Byzantine and Early Glass, E.M. Stern p. 396, no. 228 for an identical blown rod Die römischen Gläser im Rheinischen Landesmuseum Bonn, A. Follmann-Schulz, no. 55, inv. no. 61.0616.04 Breekbaar Verleden, F.M.A. van den Dries p. 80 (excavated in Stein-Limburg, NL)

In the city of Cologne, on the Aachener Str (street), a part of a handle of a strigil was found. Rare because on the top of this handle-part a miniature aryballos was placed, as decoration and a symbol for something one needed for the Sauna.



The handle part of this Van Rossum’ strigil also shows a discoid base at the top with small remains of a possible miniature aryballos.


Two striking identical glass strigils (L + M) and one bronze example (R) in the Römisch-Germanischen Museum der Stadt Köln (Cologne)


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