Ancient Glass Blog of The Allaire Collection


Posted in Uncategorized by Allaire Collection of Glass on November 20, 2017

COSMETIC FLASK of Nico F. Bijnsdorp

The second half of 4th – 5th century AD. (Syro)Palestinian.

H: 13.0 cm. Dmax: 6.8 cm. Drim: 4.3 cm Dbase: 4.2 cm. Weight: 120 gr.

Condition: Intact. Part of thread on lower body lost.

Technique: Free blown and tooled. Thread, zigzag trail and handles applied.

Description: Transparent natural bluish-green glass with aquamarine thread and zigzag trail. Funnel mouth with everted rim, rounded in flame. Elongated bag-shaped body with constriction just above the hollow, pushed-in tubular base-ring. An aquamarine spiral trail wound counter-clockwise in thirteen revolutions around upper body and neck. On the widest part of the body a thick uninterrupted aquamarine thread wound clockwise as a zigzag with seven legs up- and seven legs downwards. Two coil handles arching up from the upper body and attached to the edge of the rim with an extra fold.

Remarks: It is rather unusual that two threads on the same glass are applied in different directions and there is no explanation why this was done. This type of cosmetic flask (also called kohl tube) was a common product of Syro-Palestinian workshops in the fourth and fifth centuries AD. At the same time or slightly later double and quadruple cosmetic tubes, sometimes with elaborate (basket-shaped) handles were produced in large quantities (see NFB 056), (Live Link NFB 121) and (Live Link NFB 334).

Provenance: Aphrodite Gallery, New York, USA. Private collection Massachusetts, USA, 1970’s.

References: Auth 1976, Newark Museum, No. 182. Israeli 2003, Israel Museum, No. 286. Neuburg 1949, Plate XIX 67. Stern 2001, Ernesto Wolf Collection, No. 143. Hayes 1975, Ontario Museum, No. 394.


Posted in Uncategorized by Allaire Collection of Glass on November 18, 2017


BLUE VASE-UNGUENTARIUM WITH BASKET HANDLE of the The Augustinus Collection of Ancient Glass

4th. to 5th. Century A.D.     Kisa form: A7

  ↑ 16.5/10.18 cm | Ø body: 4cm | Ø Mouth :4.85 cm | Ø Foot: 4.05 cm| Weight: 79 g

Technique: Blown into a cylinder-shaped form; with knocked-off and rounded rim; side-decoration and basket handle applied; round, hollow foot ring formed from the body by constriction and rounded; concave base with pontil mark.

Description: Tubular body of light-blue translucent glass, slightly widening at the mouth; knocked-off and rounded rim; applied decoration in the shape of four loops on either side, drawn up from lower part of the body and attached near the rim; basket handle placed at the rim on top of one side-decoration to the other, excess glass folded down; rounded  hollow foot.

Condition: complete, no cracks; elongated bubbles; slight iridescence; weathered to vague transparency; some adhering dust; beautiful condition all over, rare because of the basket handle.

Remarks: According to Whitehouse referring to a similar glass in the Corning Museum, no 741, volume II, ‘an object such as this is unusual in having both the conical foot characteristic of cosmetic flasks and a basket handle that is typical of multi-part cosmetic tubes.’ See also Kunina, 1997, # 414, p 335.

Provenance: Eastern- Mediterranean. From a private Dutch collection. Previously unpublished.

Reference: Spartz, # 143, 33.; La Baume, Cologne, I # D 79;  Liepmann # 130; Von Saldern, Boston,1968, no 56; Hentrich, 1974, # 103, p 95; Hayes, 1975, pp 82-83. Kunina, 1997,# 414, p 335. Whitehouse, 2001, CMG vol II, p 192, no 741.



Posted in Uncategorized by Allaire Collection of Glass on November 16, 2017


Dimensions: H = 13,1 cm.; ø bowl 6,8 cm.; ø foot 7,1 cm.’ weight 66 grams.  Origin: Tuscany ~ mid 17th century

Description: The round funnel bowl has 12 ribs formed with the mezza stampaura technique, or the double dip method. In the English nomenclature these ribs are called gadroons. Just above the gadroons the bowl is further decorated with a single thin thread of glass. The bowl is set on a hollow stem embellished with two somewhat annular hollow knobs. Subsequently the stem is set via a kind of “sock” on the slightly conical folded foot. For this type of stem the descriptive term “spool form” was developed. . (See the stem formation chapter on this site).

Remarks:There is a distinctive difference between cristallo and vitrum blanchum (VB). For example, cristallo has much less CaO than VB say ~ 5% vs. 10%. The Na2O% is also different say ~ 17% vs. 13% and for SiO2 ~ 70% and ~ 65% and that can vary by origin. See as example, the Annales of the 20th AIHV congress in 2015, pg. 552, Hulst eo. “The golden age of Amsterdam glass.

Tim Osborne stated in his catalogue of the Tim Udall collection that gadrooning was derived from a continental practice. See the picture of the jelly glass from the Tim Udall collection, now in our collection glass # 109 , which has the same type of decoration. From the input of Peter Korf de Gidts and Kitty Laméris we learned that this type of decoration is typical for glasses from Tuscany. (see the references under parallels)


  • Dexel: Gebrauchsglas pg. 41 fig. 9a,
  • Laghi, Fragili Trasparenze, vetri antichi in Toscana, nr. 13 pag. XIX, Biccheri Firenze, coll.privata. See also pictures 3 and 4 for the typical stem construction.
  • Ciappi, Laghi eo. “Il vetro in Toscana, Strutture Prodotti Immagini (sec. XIII-XX) pg.69, see also pg. 94 fig. 148,
  • See also Lanmon, The Golden age of English glass pg. 82,
  • See glass # 122E from the Allaire collection which is an almost identical glass.



  • “with” Derek Davis, June 1978,
  • the Henry J. Mein collection,
  • Bonhams New Bondstreet, auction nr. 22605, nr. 69, 12-11-2014.


Jelly glass

H = 6,3 cm.; ø 6,3 cm.; ø foot 3,8 cm.; weight 69,5 grams,

Origin: England end 17th century.

Provenance: – ex Tim Udall collection,- Delomosne 2012,

Parallels: 42E English lead-glass Jelly Allaire Collection


Posted in Uncategorized by Allaire Collection of Glass on November 13, 2017

ROMAN GLASS SIMPULUM of the The Augustinus Collection of Ancient Glass  and co-author  Hans van Rossum

First century AD. | From Aquileia or Adriatic Area |  Höricht forma: 17 |

Size: ↑10.81 cm | ↑Cup: 3.0 cm | ø Cup 7.51 cm | Weight: 38 g|

Technique: Free-blown cup; rim outsplayed, turned down and inward; handle tooled and applied, bent backwards at the top and a small surplus tip folded again; no pontil mark.

Description: Yellow-green, almost white transparant glass; with iridescence and encrustation. Cup mended from 12 parts; handle in one piece; at the end of the handle a smal triangle of glass is folded over as if forming the head of a cobra snake; a very small piece of the tongue or face seems to be broken or cut off.

Condition: Complete and uncleaned, heavy brownish encrustation; the cup once was broken into many pieces, mended in the past and professionally consolidated by Restaura, Heerlen (NL) in 2017.

Remarks:  Excitare fluctus in simpulo. ‘A storm in a teapot’ in translation from the latin, is a reference to the Simpulum in general, probably for the connotation of the instrument as a laddle to tranfer or to stir liquid with.

The true importance of the instrument though is, that it belongs to the seven priestly implements of the Pontifex Maximus. In other words, the Simpulum is a special instrument to be used only by the Emperor or Caesar, from Augustan times on, in his function of Pontifex Maximus, as is proven by coins and other imagery on which the ladle occurs, such as the exceptional beautiful blue and white glass cameo from Cologne, now in the Römisch-Germanisches Museum Cologne, Germany (inv. Nr. 72,153).*See additional information below.

Provenance: From a private dutch collection. Probably from Aquileia, or near the Adriatic coast. Previously unpublished. Rare, several examples are known to be in exsistence.

Reference: ROMAN SIMPULUM of  Hans van Rossum, Haevernick, 1977/1981, Modioli, p.367, plate 2., Höricht, 1995, I vetri Romani di Ercolano, Tav. XXVII nos. 2342, 2345, 2347., Lierke, 1999, von Zabern, Antike Glastopferei, Ein vergessenes Kapitel der Glasgeschichte, ISBN: 3-8053- 2442-1. Lazar, 2003, Roman Glass of Slovenia, p 23, from Emona, Mestni muzej Ljubljana. ISBN: 961-6500-18-X.

*Read more about this rare object click on this live link


Posted in Uncategorized by Allaire Collection of Glass on November 11, 2017

Ribbing of Glass Vessels


The ribbed design on glass vessels is created by having the glass blower blow a bubble into a mold with internal ribs, sometimes called an optic mold. When removed, the ribs can be left with sharp edges or softened by further inflating, leaving the ribs less pronounced or even extremely faint. The blow pipe may also be twisted and the glass further inflated creating a swirled effect on the vessel giving it the desired surface texture.  The final form of the vessel is then completed.

Below are examples from the Allaire collection and other collectors to illustrate ribbing on glass vessels.


Posted in Uncategorized by Allaire Collection of Glass on November 7, 2017

Rijksmuseum van Oudheden in Leiden

The Rijksmuseum van Oudheden (link to their web page) is the national archaeological museum of the Netherlands. It is located in Leiden. The Museum grew out of the collection of Leiden University and still closely co-operates with its Faculty of Archaeology.This Archaeology museum has one of one the finest glass in the Netherlands.  The collection has pre-Roman, Roman, Merovingian with other groups from the Migration Period, Middle Ages, and other periods.  (Link to slide show of collections use back arrow to come back to this page)  Below are  pictures of the glass collection.


Posted in Uncategorized by Allaire Collection of Glass on November 4, 2017

Façon De Venise Tuscan Wine Glass

Photo by: Ferry Herrebrugh

The glass has a bucket bowl with rounded base with gadrooning (messa stampaura) of twelve ribs.  Around the bowl a colorless thread is wound seven times. The hollow stem consists of two hollow knops with a straight part in between called a spool stem.  Conical foot with folded rim.

Material: Cristallo or vitrum blanchum, Height: 12.6 cm, Diameter of bowl 7.0 cm, Diameter of foot 7.1 cm,

Date: End of the Sixteenth Century, Origin: Tuscany/Venice

Parallels: Fragili Trasparenze: Vetri Antichi in Toscana, Anna Laghi 1990, P. 4, 51 (plain bowl), Elisabeth & Theo Zandbergen glass collection,  Example 20 seen below.

Example 20

Allaire Collection of Glass #122E


Posted in Uncategorized by Allaire Collection of Glass on November 3, 2017


This hemispherical bowl is of clear transparent light green glass with a furnace-finished rim.  It has a small pontil mark on the underside of the bowl with large tool marks inside in the shape of a circle of small little scars. The bowl is intact and made of sodaglass. Dating from the Merovingian period, bowls of this type have been discovered in Anglo-Saxon graves.

H: 3.8 cm, D: 10.9 cm

D: 6-7th C, Origin: found in Germany

Parallels: Glass of the Dark Ages, Sheppard & Cooper #20, Roman Glass in the Corning Museum of Glass, vol. 2 #652

Provenance: Collection of Frank Oosterbaan

Allaire Collection of Glass #123E


Posted in Uncategorized by Allaire Collection of Glass on November 1, 2017

A Venetian toastmaster’s or deceptive glass with spiked gadroons

Remakes: The funnel type cup has been embellished with twelve slightly twisted solid glass spiked gadroons, typical for glasses from Venice and of that time. The paraison got at the bottom side a second layer of glass and was subsequently formed in a dip mold with vertical ribs. The Venetians call this technique mezza stampaura. The bottom of the cup is of solid metal. The final decoration looks like a Corinthian column decoration with its leafy like spikes. The stem of this glass is a so called “a jambe” stem, see example 7 in the category stem formations. The cup has in addition a small full glass “bubble” to reduce the content even more. Stem and foot are connected thru a merese which Bill Gudenrath calls a “sock”. The foot is slightly conical. This type of glass is known as a deceptive glass as the guests cannot see, when the glass is filled, that the capacity of the toastmaster’s or landlord’s glass is basically a fraction of the size of the other companion glasses used in an event. Such an event could be a distinctive dinner or another get together where the glasses are frequently raised to drink to the occasion or to the person(s) of honor of that event. The toastmaster can keep his wits so to say thanks to his special glass. A toastmaster’s glass like this one is an early Venetian example of this type of glass. Later on, toastmaster glasses albeit almost most of those not of the deceptive type, became quite popular ie. in England like the example shown in this posting, glass # 32 see below, or the well-known Dutch “pijpensteeltjes”. (see glasses # 1 and # 17 see below) Of course, these glasses could also be used as sweet mead glasses, or for other alcoholic “refreshments”. The tall slender stems also enabled the “drinker” to get let’s say wine to the mouth overcoming the barrier of the lace like or pleated fine cotton “millstone” collars not spilling the wine on those fancy accoutrements while holding the glass by the foot.

Origin: Venice, end 16th early 17th century.

Material: cristallo or vitrum blanchum

H = 16,2 cm.; ø cuppa = 5,2 cm.; ø foot = 8,2 cm.; weight = 74,1 grams.

References (ao.):

  • Baumgartner, “Reflets de Venise”, regarding the cuppa embellishment pg. 200/201,
  • Theurkauff, “Venetianisches Glas der Veste Coburg, also for the cuppa embellishment
    255 nr. 231 and pg. 256 nr. 232,

No direct parallels found yet.


  • With Laméris.


Posted in Uncategorized by Allaire Collection of Glass on October 29, 2017


Remarks: Squat cylindrical bottle of clean light blue glass is free blown with horizontally flanged rim.  The broad handle is combed, bent at a right angle has five sharp ribs applied to the shoulder. There are five wheel-cut incisions around the body. No pontil mark.  The smaller size of this example makes it rarer than the more common larger jug of the same design.

 Condition: Intact and in excellent state of preservation.

Parallels: The Windmill Collection of  Roman Glass #102, Roman, Byzantine and Early Medieval Glass 10BCE-700CE, Hatji Cantz 2001, #39, Fascinating Fragility, Nico Bijnsdorp, 2010, #NFB 066 P.166, Romische Glas Kunst und Wanmabrel, 1999 #28 P.13, Ancient Glass in the Hermitage Collection, Nina Kunna, 1997, P. 173 Cat 233, Ancient Glass: Charles Ede Limited, 2006, #21

Date: Late 1st– 2ndSpec: H: 10cm, D: max 8.5cm, D: rim 6cm, Capacity: 473ml,



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