TALL CYLINDRICAL BOTTLE of Hans van Rossum
Date: Late 1st century – 2nd century AD | Origin:Roman Empire, probably Asia Minor
Size↑25.0 cm | ø 9.0 cm | Weight 374 g
Technique: Body mold-blown in a full-size and conical mold. Neck and mouth free blown. Handle applied, tooled.
Classification: Isings 1957 form 51b | Fleming 1999 handle type c. MS 5128
Description: Transparent yellowish brown glass. Cylindrical body and short cylindrical neck; rim folded outward, down, upward, and outward to form a collar with a horizontal ledge. Shoulder slopes, with rounded edge; wall tapers slightly and curves in at bottom; base plain, slightly concave on underside; no pontil. Strap handle with four ribs, applied onto edge, drawn up and in, and attached immediately below rim, with excess glass pulled down neck.
Condition: Intact, some slightly weathering
Remarks: The glass blower has used a smooth-walled mold, which facilitated mass production. The collar rim with a ledge is an eastern Mediterranean feature, although it is not common in Palestine, Syria or Egypt. Finds appear to be concentrated farther north, in Cyprus, Asia Minor, Greece and on the coasts of the Black Sea. Cylindrical bottles with a collar rim have an even wider distribution including North Africa. The outline of the rim has parallels in pottery and metal vessels from Pergamon, a circumstance that has led to the hypothesis that the collar rim might be a Pergamene speciality and that the workshop or workshops producing this type of rim may have been located in that area.
Provenance: Art market New York 2010 Private collection, Florida (USA)
Reference: Ancient Glass in National Museums Scotland, C. S. Lightfoot no. 181, Römische Kleinkunst, Sammlung Karl Löffler, P. La Baume no. 99, Tafel 12, Ancient Glass in the Hermitage Collection, N. Kunina nos. 235 – 237, Kunst der Antike, Galerie Günter Puhze, Katalog 16-2002 no. 240
DARK PURPLE UNGUENTARIUM of Joop van der Groen
Roman Empire, Eastern Mediterranean │ 1st century AD
Size: ↑ 5,2 cm; Ø max. 3,9 cm; Ø rim 1,6 cm. │ Weight: 13 gram
Technique: Free blown. Tooled.
Classification: Vessberg (1956) flask type A.III.y
Description: Transparent dark purple glass. Body with globular sides. Conical shoulder with bulging sides. Cylindrical neck with constriction at bottom. Rim folded outward, upward and inward. Flat base, slightly indented. No pontil mark.
Remarks: These small, typical formed perfume bottles have been made in glass of many different colours, for example in bluish-green, grayisch-green, cobaltblue, purple, amber and colourless glass.
The basic colour of Roman glass is bluish-green. This has been caused because sand (the main element for making raw glass) has been polluted by iron oxide. By addition of some percents manganese oxide in the raw glass the colour changed into purple / aubergine.
Provenance: 2006 Jürgen Haering Galerie am Museum, Freiburg (Germany).
Reference: De Constable-Maxwell Collection of Ancient Glass – The Property of Mr. and Mrs. Andrew Constable-Maxwell (Sotheby, Parke Bernet, 1979), no. 87; Ancient Glass – The Bomford Collection of Pre-Roman & Roman Glass on loan to the City of Bristol Museum & Art Gallery (N. Thomas, 1976), no. 55; Glas der Antike – Kestner-Museum Hannover (U. Liepmann, 1982), no. 63; Roman Glass in The Corning Museum of Glass – Vol. I (D. Whitehouse, 1997), no. 248; The Fascinating of Ancient Glass – Dolf Schut Collection (M. Newby & D. Schut, 1999), no. 61; A collection of Ancient Glass 500 BC – 500 AD (P. Arts, 2000), no. 28; Vetri Antichi del Museo Archeologico di Udine (M. Buora, 2004), no. 33; Les Verres Antiques du Musée du Louvre II (V. Arveiller-Dulong & M-D. Nenna, 2005), no. 838; Vetri Antichi del Museo Archeologico Nazionale di Aquileia – Balsamari, olle e pissidi (L. Mandruzzato & A. Marcante, 2007), no. 224.
MOSAIC ROMAN GLASS BEAD WITH FLOWER of Hans van Rossum
Size↑0.3 cm | ø 0.9 cm
Origin: Presumably from Alexandria, Egypt Ptolemaic
Date: – early Roman Period, end of the 3rd century BC- 1st century AD.
Description: Almost circular mosaic bead of moss green glass exhibits a central rosette of white glass embedded in a field of black glass, encircled with a line of white glass and surrounded by fifteen oval spots of white glass. The surfaces are glossy, suggesting that they were polished. Perforated to be strung. In a very good condition.
Reference: Reflections on Ancient Glass from the Borowski Collection, R.S. Bianchi (ed) no. EG – 28e
JUDAEAN GlASS MEDALLION of Hans van Rossum
Date: 5th to 6th century A.D., Size: H: 3.1 cm, Origin: Jordan
Description: A Judaean glass pendant of dark amber brown to black colored glass with a Menorah (seven-branched candlestick) on a tripod base(?) The pendant with a large suspension loop. Nearly all documented glass medallions are decorated with a menorah flanked by at least two ritual objects, most often the lulav and the shofar, sometimes the etrog. These Jewish symbols express the messianic hopes for the rebuilding of the Temple in Jerusalem and the freedom of Israel. However, among the pendants decorated with just a simple menorah, an example now housed in the Israel Museum (inv. 77.40.1017) features a candelabrum very similar to ours (Hachlili 2001, IS 16.16., p. 344, pl. II.73).
Remarks: This artifact is one of a large number of glass pendants produced in the Holy Land and intended both for the natives and for the pilgrims. The vast majority of these pendants were found on site, but only a few come from precise archaeological contexts. The examples discovered at Jalame, Tzippori and Tarshiha suggest a date ranging from the early 5th to the 6th century A.D. for this class of medallions (Hachlili 2001, pp. 108-109, and pp. 342-345 for an inventory of the identified pieces). There are no identical specimens.
Condition: Intact with some pitting and earthen deposits. | Rare
Provenance: Auction USA 2012, Northern California private collection
Reference: Israeli, Y., Israel Museum, 2003, p. 316, fig. 430, Spaer, M., Israel Museum, 2001, p. 362, figs.
371-3, Hachlili,R, The menorah, the ancient seven-armed candelabrum: origin, form, and significance, Leiden 2001
WHEEL-ABRADED ROMAN GLASS JAR of Nico F. Bijnsdorp
Date & Origin: 4th century AD. Eastern Mediterranean.
Size:H= 11.5 cm. D max= 11.8 cm. D rim= 9.5 cm. D base= 4.3 cm. Weight 224 gr.
Classification: Isings 1957: Form 94.
Condition: Intact. Crack across base. Iridescence and weathering, especially in abraded area.
Technique Free blown. Wheel-abraded. Foot applied.
Description: Transparent pale greenish-blue glass. Jar with squat globular body on applied coil-foot. Short flaring neck to mouth with thickened rim, rounded in flame. Below the rim a thick applied coil wound around neck. Body decorated with wheel-abraded arcades, consisting of eight fluted pillars, each on a broad base and topped by broad capitals, connected by close zigzag arches. Abraded circles with central dot between the pillars.
Remarks: This bulbous jar is reminiscent of Isings form 94, which she dates to the 2nd century AD, but the rare wheel abraded decoration is more common on 4th century AD glasses like the engraved jar in the Royal Ontario museum, Hayes 1975, No. 590. The decoration however, may also have been applied in the 4th century on a jar from the 2nd century. It has been suggested that the abraded decoration had been filled with white paint. XRF-analyses has proven that the white of the arcades is pure (iridescent) glass and not paint.
Published: Antiek Glas 2001, video film Allard Pierson Museum. , Beek 2001, Antiek Glas, de kunst van het vuur, No. 13. ,Christies 3 July 1996, No. 316. ,Sheppard & Cooper Ltd, 1994, No. 53.
Exhibited: Allard Pierson Museum, Amsterdam, Antiek Glas, de kunst van het vuur, 17 May – 16 September 2001, No. 131. , Thermenmuseum Heerlen (NL), Romeins Glas, geleend uit particulier bezit, 29 April – 28 August 2011, No. 239.
References: Hayes 1975, Ontario Museum, No. 590, Sotheby’s London 4/5 June 1979, The Constable Maxwell Collection, No. 266, (for the decoration).
OPAQUE BLUE GLASS BUD VASE of David Giles
Culture: Roman, Date: 1st century about 25-75 AD, Height:10.8cm
Place of manufacture: Probably Italy. Considered to be from the same workshop as the example in the British Museum.
Decoration: Two horizontal ground raised bands on the upper body and two on the top outer rim
Technique: Historically described as cast and cut but the modern school of thought suggests that these were blown and then ground and polished when cold. The example in the British Museum is described as blown. I am inclined to go with the blown theory. The same shapes are made in transparent glass which are obviously blown but the glass in those cases is thinner. This vessel would have required thicker glass to allow for cutting and so the glass maker may have started with a thick rectangular sheet of glass and picked it up and folded it round on the iron before blowing. This process in itself would explain the need for subsequent grinding and polishing to remove any irregularities or rough exterior from when the sheet was formed, regardless of the cut band decoration. This is the technique used to make the mosaic gold band glass bottles. Whilst the idea of casting this particular form of vessel would seem to be unlikely, nevertheless it would have been a more complicated technique than simple blowing and the skill and work involved would have put these vessels into the luxury category.
Rarity: This is a rare form in cut opaque glass. Only about 8 extant examples are known of in private and public collections Worldwide. They are found in three opaque colors: red, blue and white. Obviously luxury items.
Provenance: Ex collection of Dr. Alexander Gonik, Switzerland 1960’/1970’s.
Reference: Benzian collection Sotheby’s 7 July 1994, two examples in white and red. ,Constable Maxwell collection Sotheby’s June 1979, two example in red., British Rail collection Sotheby’s 24 November 1997 example in red (from the Constable Maxwell collection).
Parallel: British Museum example probably from Italy as pictured below:
ARYBALLOS of Hans van Rossum
2nd century AD | Roman Empire, probably north Italy
Size↑5.1 cm | ø 7.5 cm | Weight 54 g
Technique: Free blown, handles applied; tooled
Classification: Isings 1957 form 61 (variant) | Sorokina 1987 rim type A, handles type C4
Description: Transparent manganese glass, squat globular body with broad and almost flat shoulders. Short wide cylindrical neck tapering towards rim. Outward-flared rim with inward folded lip. Two dolphin-shaped handles drawn from under the rim towards the shoulder, squeezed to form narrow, vertical and circular handles. Concave base with pontil mark.
Condition: Intact, perfect condition, extremely rare
Remarks: This type of aryballos was common in the western part of the empire. The dolphin- shaped handles are characteristic for the Rhineland area but manganese glass was not made in Rhineland, most probably due to lack of the raw material which was necessary to make this color. The way in which the dolphin-shaped handles are squeezed refers to the specific ‘Dolphin-flasks’, see: Die farblosen Gläser der Frühzeit in Köln, F. Fremersdorf & E., Polónyi-Fremersdorf nos. 202 – 209.
Provenance: Collection Paul E. Cuperus Laren (NL) 2010, collection number PEC 121
Collection professor dr. Peter H. Plesch (UK) 2009 (labeled AGv8hD)
(the father of Peter Plesch was friend and personal physician of Albert Einstein)
London art market; Sheppard & Cooper Ltd. London 1983
Published: Romeins Glas uit particulier bezit, J. van der Groen & H. van Rossum 2011, p. 104
De Oude Flesch, no. 121, 2010, p. 23, Christie’s London, auction Antiquities including the Plesch Collection of Ancient, Glass, 28 April 2009 lot 17
Exhibited: Thermenmuseum Heerlen (NL), Romeins Glas, geleend uit particulier bezit, no. 180
29 April – 28 August 2011
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, exp.no.247, 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)
BEAKER WITH ENGRAVED LINES of Joop van der Groen
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.
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.