Ancient Glass Blog of The Allaire Collection


Posted in Uncategorized by Allaire Collection of Glass on June 27, 2022

ROMAN BOWL of Joop van der Groen

Eastern Mediterranean or Italy    late 1st century BC – early first century A.D.   
Size: ↑3,5 cm ǀ Ø 16,8 cm ǀ Ø undersite 6.0 cm

Technique: Sagged; rotary-polished on the interior and partly on the exterior.

Classification: Grose Group D. Grose 1979 ǀ Isings (1957) form 18 (variant)

Condition: Intact

Description: Broad, shallow bowl; transparent light bluish-green glass. Rim with rounded edge. Flattened base, on the interior surrounded by a small and circular grove.

Provenance: 2007 Apollux S.A.R.L., Munsbach (Luxemburg)


Early Ancient Glass – The Toledo Museum of Art (Grose,1989), no. 243

Charles Ede Ltd. – London, Catalogue 20 – 2001 no. 3

Kunst der Antike (Galerie Puhze Freiburg, 2012), Katalog 26, no. 156

The Metropolitan Museum of Art inv. no. 15.43.258 Translucent blue Roman glass bowl late 1st century B.C. early1st century A.D. Plain rounded rim; convex curving side; slightly concave bottom.Intact; a few bubbles; thick creamy brown weathering covering most of interior, and dulling, pitting, and iridescence, with patches of weathering on exterior.


Posted in Uncategorized by Allaire Collection of Glass on June 22, 2022

The Middle Ages is a period of European history between the decline of the Roman Empire in the fifth century A.D. and the dawn of the Renaissance in 15th century Italy. The Western Roman Empire ended more or less at the end of the 5th century The Eastern Roman empire, Byzantium, ended basically in the 15th century.


During the first half of the 16th century Medieval beakers with an open-work base or foot were mainly the products of German forest glasshouses, e.g., prunted beakers, Stangenglaser and Scheuern. The construction of such a base is shown in Fig. 60. Around the year 1550 the open-work pattern was gradually modified to a rather flat foot constructed of fused threads of glass. Fragments have been found of the open-work foot pattern among debris from 16th century glasshouses in the Southern Netherlands.

Paraphrased from the book: Henkes- Glass Without Gloss, Utility glass from five Centuries excavated in the low countries 1300-1800. Harold E. Henkes, 1994

References for the pictures below:

A’s are from the book: Baumgartner-Glas: Des Mittelalters und der Renaissance, Die Sammlung Karl Amendt, Erwin Baumgartner, Dusseldorf, 2005

B’s are from the book : Medieval Glass for Popes Princes and Peasants, The Corning Museum of Glass, David Whitehouse, 2010

C’s are from the book: Baumgartner-Phonix aus Sand Und Asche, Glas des Mittlelalters,

To get more information on, Glass of The Middle Ages 5th to 14th Century click on this active link to a post on this blog


Posted in Uncategorized by Allaire Collection of Glass on June 17, 2022

(72R) (84R) (116E) from   The Allaire Collection of Glass

These three examples of beakers from the Roman to Merovingian periods show how styles change only slightly over the centuries.



ROMAN GLASS BEAKER H: 10.2 cm, Rim D: 8.5 cm, Date: 1st – early 2nd century, Possibly Western

The beaker is made of colorless glass with a slight greenish tint and has a hint of iridescence.  It was blown with ribs applied to the parison, inflated further and a thin trail applied below rim.  The 15 ribs are straight with a very slight swirl. Beaker set on a fatten base.

Reference: Glaser Der Antike, Sammlung Erwin Opperlander, 1974 #650, Whitehouse, Roman Glass in the Corning Museum, Vol 2, 2001 #657 (Swirled ribs), Ancient Glass, Charles Ede Limited, 2006 #24 (swirled ribs)


Date: 4th to 5th century, Height: 8 cm, Diameter at rim: 5.3 cm Weight: 44.5 g

Description: Beaker is a transparent light greenish glass with slight silvery iridescence; blown, with applied trail of the same glass color. The rim is out spayed, thickened and rounded; wall descends vertically, but with a slightly concave profile, almost to bottom, where it bends in sharply into the solid foot-ring base with pontil mark. Trail wound once around wall with ends overlapping above the midpoint.

Remarks: This type of beaker was a common form found in Syria and Palestine.

References: Roman Glass in The Corning Museum of GlassVol II, David Whitehouse, 2001 #662,#664,#666, Glass From the Roman Empire, Paul E. Cuperus, June 2009 p.95, Les verres antiques du musee du Louvres #989, Ancient Glass in the Israel Museum, The Elihu Dobkin Collection and Other Gifts, Yael Israeli, The Israel Museum Jerusalem, 2003 #167, Stern-Roman, Byzantine, and Early Medieval Glass, Ernesto Wolf Collection, Marianne Stern, 2001 #108, #109, Fire and Sand: Ancient Glass in the Princeton University Art Museum, Anastassios C. Antonaras, 2012 #185, #187


Date: 5-6th century AD Height: 10.3 cm

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 .

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


Posted in Uncategorized by Allaire Collection of Glass on June 12, 2022

The honeycomb pattern makes one of the most beautiful types of Roman glass bowls. It is a decorative molded pattern of irregularly shaped hexagons, used as an overall pattern on these Roman glass bowls of the 4th century.  They are said to have been made in Syria or Egypt and probably widely exported to many places where they have been found.


Posted in Uncategorized by Allaire Collection of Glass on June 7, 2022

Three miniature Roman Glass vessels of Hans van Rossum

Date:Late 3rd century – 4th century A.D. | Eastern Mediterranea

1: Size↑ 5.2 cm | ø 3.0 cm | Weight 18 g

2: Size↑ 5.7 cm | ø 2.9 cm (body) | Weight 24 g

3: Size↑ 6.4 cm | Rim ø 3.0 cm, max 2.3 ø cm | Weight 15 g

Technique:     All free blown, handles, foot and thread applied

Condition:     All intact, perfect condition


Description:   Transparent cobalt blue glass, globular body set on a base ring, cylindrical neck,  flaring folded rim and angular handle applied on the body, folded and drawn upwards, attached to the edge of the rim, forming a thumb-rest. Glass string twisted around top-part of the cylindrical neck. No pontil mark.     

Provenance:  with Sasson Ancient Art Ltd., Jerusalem art market, 18 January 2003

PublishedRomeins Glas uit particulier bezit, J. van der Groen & H. van Rossum 2011, p. 60

Exhibited: Thermenmuseum Heerlen (NL), 29 April – 28 August 2011, exp. no. 73

ReferencesSchitterend Glas, R. Halbertsma 2006 p. 7 for comparable miniature vessels Archaeological Museum Pula, Croatia for a collection of miniature vessels


Description:   Transparent cobalt blue glass, biconical body, long cylindrical neck with constriction at the junction with the body. Disk-shaped foot, coil ring and two angular handles of pale to colorless green glass. Handles applied to the shoulder, drawn up and attached to the edge of the rim, forming a thumb-rest. A coil ring just below the rim. No pontil mark. Rare. 

Provenance: with Biblical Antiquities – Gil Chaya, Jerusalem art market, 7 January 2008

Published: Magazine VIND (NL) no. 23 – 2016, p. 33


Classification: Kisa 1908: Band II nr. 10, p. 317 for the type of the handles

Description:   Translucent cobalt blue glass, biconical body. Cylindrical neck with constriction at the junction with the body. Fire-polished, out-splayed rim; heavy glass coil ring applied at the exterior of rim. Base made of a compact heavy coil ring. Angular handle of pale green glass, applied on edge body/shoulder, drawn up and attached to rim, making a thumb-rest. No pontil scar.

Provenance:   Ancient Recourse LLC, Montrose CA, USA, auction 19 July 2015 lot 16Formerly part of the Donald Brown collection, Boston – USA, acquired during the 1960s

Remark: It is still indistinct what the function was of miniature glass jugs. It is suggested that they were made as a gift for a child that had died.

ReferencesFire and Sand, Ancient Glass in the Princeton University Art Museum, A. Antonaras 2012 cat. no. 413 Schitterend Glas, R. Halbertsma 2006 p. 7, comparable miniature vessels Archaeological Museum Pula, Croatia for a collection of miniature vessels


Posted in Uncategorized by Allaire Collection of Glass on June 2, 2022

44R Roman Glass Aubergine Pitcher of the Allaire Glass Collection

Date: 4th Century, H:14.5 cm

Remarks: This aubergine glass pitcher has an ovoid blown body with an applied trail decoration and handle of light green glass.  The excellent state of preservation makes this elegant jug an extraordinary work of the late Roman glass industry.

Ref: Ancient Glass at the Newark Museum, Susan H. Auth, 1976 #122,

Active links: 




Posted in Uncategorized by Allaire Collection of Glass on May 27, 2022

The Roman Glass Cinerary Urn

This was a vessel to contain the ashes of the deceased.  Urns of this kind, varied in shape and style, many were made of glass from the 1st to 4th century.  One type of glass urn has an ovoid body, with a flat base, a wide mouth and usually two massive loop-handles up from the shoulder; the cover is conical with a small flat cap.  The caps or lids also varied in shape and style. Some of the urns were also without handles or just one.  From: An Illustrated Dictionary of Glass, Harold Newman



Cinerary Urn Lids A Variety of Shapes and Styles

All photos from: Altino Glass of the Venetian Lagoon, Rosa Barovier Mentasti, Margherits Tirelli, editors, 2010

Click on these active links to see additional information on Cinerary Urns on this blog.




Posted in Uncategorized by Allaire Collection of Glass on May 23, 2022

Three Ribbed Roman Glass Unguentaria


The Windmill Collection of Ancient Glass

Date:1st- – 2nd , Century A.D., Eastern Mediterranea

Sizes:   a. blue              ↑ 6.0 cm           Ø  4.0 cm

            b. transparent  ↑ 8.0 cm           Ø  4.9 cm

           c. purple           ↑ 6.0 cm           Ø  4.0 cm

Weight: Appr. 12-20 gr.


Free blown miniature unguentaria of royal blue, almost colorless transparent, respectively purple color. Decorated on the body with seven (a), eight (b) and 8 (c) fine vertical ribs. The cylindrical neck ends in a folded outward (and inwardly) folded edge. The underside is flattened and has no pontil mark.


Isings (1957), form 26b


Completely intact with beautiful iridescence.


Blue ribbed unguentarium: Gershon Bineth collection, Tel-Aviv (Israel)

Transparent ribbed unguentarium : Private collection, London (United Kingdom)

Purple ribbed unguentarium: Polony Fremersdorf, Cologne (Germany)

Published (Blue unguentarium)

Romeins Glas uit particulier bezit’ (2011), p. 62, 53, 70.


Posted in Uncategorized by Allaire Collection of Glass on May 18, 2022

This post is a pictorial catalog of decorating styles used on Merovingian glass vessels. The Merovingian period of glass making is dated 5th – 7th centuries.

(Click on a photo below to enlarge the image and use Esc key or back arrow to get back to this main page.)


Group #1

Self Trails

(Trails are threads of glass in this case made of the same metal as the body.)

Marvered Trails

(The trails are pressed into the vessel)

Thick Lattice Trails

Group #2

White Contrasting Unmarvered Trails

Loop Trailing

Group #3

Festoon Pattern

(A decorated pattern in form of garlands, ribbons, or drapery hanging in a natural curve.)

Wavy Trails

Ribbing: Vertical or Swirled

Group #4

Pattern Molded




Posted in Uncategorized by Allaire Collection of Glass on May 13, 2022

Roman Glass Tazza

from the collection of

Elisabeth & Theo Zandbergen collection

Dimensions: H 5,5 cm; ø foot 4,4 cm; ø cuppa 11 cm; weight 23 grams.

Origin: Probably Eastern Mediterranean end 3rd early 4th CE.? Nazareth? Could be Karanis.

Description: This quite rare free-shaped glass, made from green glass, has a hemispherical cuppa, today one could also call this a tazza, has been formed from one glass gathering. In the process the stem was formed by a form of pinching the stem section, making it a solid stem but leaving a hollow foot. The object has all the characteristics of a funeral gift with the iridescence on one side and the deposits on the other.

Remark: In the sales catalogue this quite rare glass was called a champagne glass. Going with what we knew about champagne we thought that seems strange. As far as we knew champagne was for the first time produced in a “still” form in the 16th century and in the sparkling version around 1680. After the “invention” of the sparkling form people couldn’t get enough of it. But, thanks to René van Beek of the Allard Pierson Museum we learned that sparkling wines were already produced in Roman times. He wrote: Most likely the Romans applied a form of double fermentation on amphora’s creating the “bubbly” effect. In the first century the Roman poet Lucanus called this wine “bullulae” being, as generally thought, the term for a sparkling wine.

Collecting glass, amongst others from Roman times is more than just adding another nice object to the collection. Along these lines being educated in all kinds of social aspects of life in Roman times.

Parallels amongst others:

  • Mattheson, Ancient glass in the Yale University Gallery pg.99 nr.261,
  • Johns Hopkins Museum JHUAM HT 1356, (Nazareth, Israel), thanks to the info

             from another collector,

  • Whitehouse, Corning Museum of Glass, Vol.II, pg.157, nr.676,

              however, a two-piece construction so to see,

  • Morin-Jean, La Verrerie en Gaule sous l’Empire Romain pg.164

Provenance: Ex Prof. Ehud Malberger collection, Haifa Archeological Center Ltd. Dr. Robert Deutsch auction 64, lot nr. 335

Remark: Our dear departed friend David Giles saw this glass in the Malberger collection. What better provenance would one like to have.

%d bloggers like this: