Ancient Glass Blog of The Allaire Collection


Posted in Uncategorized by Allaire Collection of Glass on December 7, 2016



First half of 1st century AD. Probably Italian.

H= 10.0 cm. D max= 8.9 cm. D rim= 3.3 cm. D base= 5.1 cm. Weight 68 gr.

Classification: Isings 1957: Form 13.

Condition:  Intact. Excellent condition.

TechniqueFree blown. Handle applied.

Description: Translucent dark purple colored glass with some white marbled streaks in neck and handle. Squat bi-conical body with slightly outsplayed, open base-ring with concave bottom. No pontil mark. The tall cylindrical neck gently sloping down into the shoulder. Rim folded-in with very small part just rounded. Bifurcated handle dropped onto shoulder, drawn up vertically, then folded slightly downwards and attached to the neck just below the rim.

Remarks: This juglet shows the high standing craftsmanship of Roman glassmakers and thanks its attractiveness to the very elegant form, the deep purple color, the shiny surface and perfect condition.

Published: Groen 2011, Romeins Glas uit particulier bezit, p. 54. Bonhams 29 April 2009, No. 99.

Exhibited: Thermenmuseum Heerlen (NL), Romeins Glas uit particulier bezit, 29 April – 28 August 2011, exh. No. 65.

 Reference: Kunina 1997, Hermitage Museum, No. 345. Fremersdorf 1958, R-G Museum Köln, Tafel 50-51. Bonomi1996, Museo Archeologico Nazionale di Adria, Nos. 311 and 313. Cassagrande 2003, Museo di Storia Naturale e Archeologia di Montebelluna, Nos. 142-143.


Posted in Uncategorized by Allaire Collection of Glass on December 6, 2016



Mid to second half of 1st century AD. Eastern Mediterranean.

H= 13.0 cm. D max= 6.4 cm. D rim= 6.3 cm. D base= 4.0 cm. Weight 68 gr.

Classification: Isings: Form 31.

Condition: Intact. Some iridescence and buff weathering. Rim unevenly cracked off.

Technique: Blown into four-part mold with three vertical sections joined to a disk-shaped base section (MCT III). Relief crisp.

Description:  Transparent to translucent natural bluish-green glass. Conical body, decorated with four horizontal rows of eight down-pointed knobs, shaped like almonds or lotus-buds, alternating with small circular bosses over one bottom row of four lotus-buds alternating with four different (comedy) masks. The masks may represent Silenus (a long-haired bearded man), a comic mask with gaping mouth and large ears, Pan (a male with long hair, a curly beard and horns) and Dionysus or a woman (a child-like face with short hair). The knobs in the upper row plain, in the other four rows three-tiered, decreasing in size from top to bottom. Slightly depressed base with two raised concentric circles around central boss. Rim-cracked off unworked.

Remarks: Knobbed beakers were common types of mold-blown tableware and were used as drinking vessels. The most common decoration is rows of pointed three-tiered knobs or three-tiered knobs alternating with small circular bosses. Other designs include alternating rows of plain pointed oval knobs, sometimes alternating with small circular bosses, and knobs or bosses framed by various linear patterns. Rows with knobs that are arranged directly under each other are known but rare. The combination of masks and “almonds” on such beakers is very rare. Stern believes that the knobs are not lotus-buds, but depict the knots on Hercules’ club.

Publishe: Groen 2011, Romeins Glas uit particulier bezit, p. 37. Gorny & Mosch 16 June 2004, No. 212.

Exhibited: Thermenmuseum Heerlen (NL), Romeins Glas uit particulier bezit, 29 April – 28 August 2011, exh. Nr. 37.

Reference: Pellati 1998, Spalato Museum, No. 194 (with masks). Israeli 2011, Shlomo Moussaieff Collection, p. 76 (with masks) La Baume 1976, Karl Löffler Collection, No. 66. Whitehouse 2001, Corning Museum, Nos. 492-496.


Posted in Uncategorized by Allaire Collection of Glass on December 3, 2016

Piriform Roman Flask of Elisabeth & Theo Zandbergen


Origin: Most probably Syria ~ 4th century AD.

Dimensions: H. 15,9 cm.; ø rim 3,5 cm.; ø foot 4,5 cm.; largest ø ~ 5,2 cm.; weight 62,9 gram.

Description: The elegant piriform body of this yellow-greenish glass is set on a hollow foot formed from the same glass gathering as the body. It is decorated with two handles made from blue glass with nipped extensions over the sides. At the top, the body narrows down to form a slightly tapered cylindrical neck with a flaring mouth being outward /inward folded rim. The pontil mark is quite visible.

Remarks: These flasks are sometimes called amphorae, but I think that is extending the meaning of amphora a bit too far. As flasks of this type are quite often present in museums and collections these must have been quite popular in those days, but what did they store in those flasks? Presumably these were on the dressing tables filled with fragrant substances and not regular household items.

Parallels:- Rossum van, Roman Glass and early Byzantine pg. 173 nr. HVR 030,without foot and mono color green,- Bijnsdorp, Fascinating Fragility, pag. 310/311, nr. NFB 055, without foot, optically blown body; NFB 273, footed and with left and righttwo handles on top of each other forming a kind of B form,- Lightfoot, Ancient Glass in National Museums of Scotland, pg. 124 nr. 302- Arveiller-Dulong & Nenna, Louvre II, pg. 394 nr. 1064,- Kunina, Ancient glass in the Hermitage collection, pg. 333 nr.405, 229 nr. 203- Christies NY sale 12257, 25-10-2016, lot nr. 163, mono green- Whitehouse, Corning Vol. II, pg. 174/175 nr. 711,- Israeli, Ancient glass in the Israel museum, 249, nr. 347; pg. 264 nr. 347- 3000 Jahre Glaskunst, Kunstmuseum Luzern, pg. 99 nr. 375,- Ánimes de Vidre, les Colleccions Amatller, pg.100/101 nr. 76, slightly different spout,- Antonaras, Fire and Sand, ancient glass in the Princeton University Art museum, pg.151 nr. 210,- Stern, Römisches, byzantinisches und frühmittelalterliches Glas 10 v.Chr – 700 n. Chr., pg 307 nr. 170,- Metropolitan Museum NY, X.21.201

Provenance:- Ex Yitzhak (aka) Mizrahi collection, Tiberias- Archeological Center Tel-Aviv, auction nr. 61, lot nr. 176





Posted in Uncategorized by Allaire Collection of Glass on December 1, 2016


Sometimes the decoration on a piece of glass is what makes it outstanding.  Spanish glassmakers of the 17th to 18th Century often took this to extremes with their fins and finials. The following examples illustrating this point are from the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Allaire Collection.


Posted in Uncategorized by Allaire Collection of Glass on November 28, 2016

Blown Ribbed Glass Bowls with Delicate Trailing

Blown ribbed bowls (Zarte Rippenschale) with the ribbing ending at an arc under the mouth were decorated with a delicate filament of applied glass trail spiraling around the ribs. This relatively small group of vessels was circulated primarily in northern Italy, the Upper Adriatic, Switzerland and the Rhineland and maybe a Western product, date-able  to the first century and possibly later. The bowl was made by mold blowing, followed by working free-hand to apply the trailing, expanded by free blowing and finished with working the rim. This type of vessel was also made without the trailing decoration. The examples of both types are shown from many museums and private collections.


Posted in Uncategorized by Allaire Collection of Glass on November 27, 2016


1st century AD | Probably made in Italy | 16 cm high

Technique: Body free blown with integral foot pushed in and tooled to form base.

Description: Handle joined from shoulder to rim and doubled over at the base to form a fine tapering trail back up the middle of the handle. The glass has a swirling grain pattern to it created by a lighter mixture within the blue.

Remarks: Although a rare form in glass it is a common shape found in metal jugs at Pompeii.

Reference: Only one close parallel known, an almost identical example in the Getty Museum. Figure 85  Wight-Molten Color: Glassmaking in Antiquity, Karol B. Wight, The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, 2011

Provenance: Ex Hans Lutz Romanowski (1928-2010) collection, Berlin. Obtained by him from Arete gallery Zurich 1984.


Posted in Uncategorized by Allaire Collection of Glass on November 25, 2016

TWO-HANDLED BEAKER OR SKYPHOS of A Private Dutch Collection of Roman Glass

two-handled beaker or scyphos

two-handled beaker or skyphos

1st Century A.D., (Isings form 39), Rhineland (Germany)

Size:H = 6.8 cm, D = 12.5 cm
Condition: Intact and in excellent condition
Description: Greenish free-blown footed beaker or ‘skyphos’ with straight walls, everted rim and hollow glass thread. Two handles in same color.
Exhibited: Museum Honig Breethuis (NL) ’Fascinating luxury of Antiquity’ 12 November 2011– 30 January 2012 , exp no. 34
Provenance: Private collection Cologne (Germany)


Posted in Uncategorized by Allaire Collection of Glass on November 23, 2016

CUP WITH LINES AND GROVES of Joop van der Groen



Roman Empire, probably Italy or western provinces │ 1st century AD, probably 25 – 75 AD
Size: ↑ 6,8 cm; Ø max. 7,4 cm; Ø rim 6,9 cm. │ Weight: 83 gram

Technique: Free blown. Tooled.
Classification: Isings (1957) form 12.
Description: Transparent light green glass with a few small air bubbles. Cylindrical body with almost straight sides. Rim knock off and polished. On the body engraved lines and cut groves. Round transition from sides to flat base. No pontil mark.
Condition: Intact with some weathering.
Remarks: This cup is one of the most primitive forms of drinking vessel made at a very early date in pottery and metal, and imitated in glass (Isings, 1957). After the glass had been fully cooled down the glassmaker engraved the lines and cut the groves by making use of a turntable.
Provenance: 1995 – 2005 Private collection of Mrs. dr. C.M. Muller, Soest (NL)
Published: Romeins glas uit particulier bezit (J. van der Groen & H. van Rossum, 2011).
Romeinse bekers en drinkglazen (H. van Rossum, 2011).
Exhibited: Thermenmuseum Heerlen (NL), “Romeins Glas, geleend uit particulier bezit”,
29 April – 28 August 2011, exp. no. 33
Reference: Das naturfarbene sogenannte Blaugrüne Glas in Köln (Fremersdorf, 1958), Tafel 75, no. 201; Verres Romains (Ier – IIIme siècle) des Musées Curtius et du Verre à Liège (M. Vanderhoeven, 1961), no. 14 and no. 15; Kunstwerke der Antike, Antike Gläser, Sammlung Suter (Münzen und Medaillen AG Basel), Auktion 70, 14-11-1986, no. 15; La Verrerie Romaine du Musée Archéologique de Nîmes – 2e partie (M. Sternini, 1990), no. 538; Glass Throughout Time – History and Technique of Glassmaking from the Ancient World to the Present (R. Barovier Mentasti & others, 2003), no. VII, 24.


Posted in Uncategorized by Allaire Collection of Glass on November 22, 2016




Roman Empire, Campania (Italy) or western Asia Minor │ 1st century AD
Size: ↑ 8,3 cm; Ø body 6,2 cm; Ø rim 7,2 cm. │ Weight: 74 gram

Technique: Free blown. Tooled.
Classification: Isings (1957) form 29.
Description: Transparent bluish-green glass, nearly light bluish. Cylindrical body with almost straight sides, tapering downward. Flaring mouth. Rim knocked off and polished. 1,0 cm under the rim an engraved line, 1,5 cm downward a second engraved line and 0,5 cm lower a third engraved line. Flat underside. No pontil mark. Sides of thin glass, base very thick glass.
Condition: Intact with some weathering and iridescence.
Remarks: After the glass had been fully cooled down the glassmaker engraved the lines by making use of a turntable. The engraved lines are very fine and that’s why it is difficult to see on the picture. They are made as decoration.
Provenance: 2005 Galerie Rhéa, Zürich (Switzerland).  ± 1970 – 1990 Private collection Anton Ackermann, Luzern (Switzerland). This collection has been built up in the sixties up untill the eighties,
Exhibited: During the seventies and the eighties in the private museum of Anton Ackermann in Luzern.
Reference: Rômische Kleinkunst – Sammlung Karl Löffler (P. La Baume & J.Salomonson, 1976), no. 97; Ancient Glass in the Israel Museum, The Eliahu Dobkin Collection and Other Gifts (Y. Israeli, 2003), no.164; Vom Luxusobjekt zum Gebrauchsgefäss – vorrömische und römische Gläser (M. Honroth, 2007), no. 176; Ancient Glass in National Museums Scotland (C. Lightfoot, 2007), no. 159 and no. 160; Catalogus 180 Charles Ede Ltd London, 2008), no. 62; Kunstwerke der Antike (Cahn Auktionen AG Basel), Auktion 7, 03-11-2012, no. 116.


Posted in Uncategorized by Allaire Collection of Glass on November 21, 2016

YELLOW JAR WITH HANDLES of A Private Dutch Collection of Roman Glass



3rd-4th Century AD, Rhineland
H = 14.0 cm D = 13.5 cm

Classification: Isings form 65
Intact, some weathering
Description: This large thick-walled jar (with irregularly drawn-up yellowish-green handles) has been found in the Rhineland (Germany), possibly imported from the Eastern Empire. Could be used for storage, probably later on also for cinerary purpose . See comment ‘Romeins Glas uit particulier bezit’.
Provenance: Private Dutch collection
Exhibited: Thermen Museum Heerlen (NL), ‘Roman Glass from Private collections’, 29 April-28 August 2011,, Museum Honig Breethuis Zaandijk (NL), ‘Fascinating luxury from Antiquity’, 12 November 2011-30 January 2012, exp. no 28
Published: Romeins Glas uit Particulier bezit (2011)

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