Ancient Glass Blog of The Allaire Collection


Posted in Uncategorized by Allaire Collection of Glass on February 16, 2016

RIBBED BOWL of  Hans van Rossum



Late 1st century BC – mid-1st century AD | Eastern Mediterranean

Size↑5.5 cm | ø 12.5 cm | Weight 190 g

Technique: Sagged, tooled and lathe-cut. Rotary-polished on interior, top and outside of rim. Fire-polished on rest of exterior. The ribs were possibly formed using a fork-like tool to push against the hot surface of the glass, probably when the disk was still flat. Sometimes, it is possible to see groups of three or four parallel ribs on these bowls.

Classification: Isings 1957 form 3c, bowl with ribs on the sides only

Description: Translucent manganese colored glass. Shallow bowl, rounded by grinding, flares up and slightly out from body which bulges, then curves in towards concave bottom. On exterior forty-seven irregular ribs round the sides, more or less vertical, from just below rim, tapering off towards bottom, most disappearing before centre; on interior lathe-cut groove, 1.4 cm. below rim.

Condition: Intact, perfect condition

Remarks: Manganese compounds were used by Egyptian and Roman glassmakers, to either remove color from glass or add color to it. The use as glassmaker soap continued through the middle ages until modern times and is evident in 14th century glass from Venice. This process was difficult with regards to quantities of manganese in combination with atmospherically circumstances. That is the reason that very often the manganese colored vessels contain streaks of lighter to almost colorless glass. This bowl shows the result of this complicated production-process.  Goldstein (1979) suggests that this type of bowl falls somewhere between the thick walled, heavily tooled vessels of Hellenistic tradition and the thin-walled vessels of the mid-1st century AD.

Provenance: Private collection Germany, formed in the 1970s-1980s

Published: Gorny & Mosch Munich, Auktion Kunst der Antike no.119, 16. Oktober 2002 lot 3003
Exhibited: Thermenmuseum Heerlen (NL), Romeins Glas, geleend uit particulier bezit, no. 6
29 April – 28 August 2011


Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, and accession number 17.194.200 for an identical bowl
Glass of the Caesars, D.B. Harden no. 26 (ex Ray Winfield Smith Collection no. 198)
Sheppard & Cooper Ltd, exhibition-catalogue 1976, color plate V no. 8 (amber)
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, and accession number 81.10.38 (blue)
La fragilitat en el temps. El vidre a l’antiguitat, T. C. Rossell no. 58

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