Ancient Glass Blog of The Allaire Collection


Posted in Uncategorized by Allaire Collection of Glass on July 30, 2016


This precisely shaped globular bottle was probably used for perfume or bath oil.  Its delicate proportion and intense cobalt blue color make it a fine example of glass vessels of the period. Unguentaria, or perfume bottles are probably the earliest blown glass vessels.  In their simplest form they are merely a bubble on the end of the blow pipe, with little modification beyond a short neck and a flattened base.  Many of the early bottles are intentionally colored and these  rich colors were a dominate feature in glassmaking until the end of the first century A.D. when colorless glass became more fashionable.  This piece is intact and was found in Syria

First Century A.D.

H: 5.2 cm,  GD: 3.8 cm


05R Small blue Roman glass bottle


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

The Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam

The Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam

The Rijksmuseum is a Netherlands national museum dedicated to arts and history in Amsterdam. The museum is located at the Museum Square in the borough Amsterdam South. The renovation of the museum initially was to take only five years, but was delayed and eventually took almost ten years to complete. On 13 April 2013, the main building was reopened to the public. The purpose of this blog post is to draw attention large and magnificent glass collections. The Rijksmuseum owns close to 2000 glass objects ranging from delicate Venetian glass to Waldglas (‘forest glass’: robust green beakers with prunts; roemers and berkemeiers, types of drinking glasses) and 18th-century engraved glass to modern pieces crafted by the 19th-century French glass blower Emile Gallé and the 20th-century Dutch artist Andries Copier. The core of the collection comprises Dutch glass, either produced and/or engraved in the Netherlands. Inscriptions and images were engraved on glass in a variety of techniques particularly in the 17th and 18th century. Among the exceptional objects are a roemer with a poem to Constantijn Huygens engraved by Anna Roemer Visscher, a dish with a calligraphic text by the glass engraver and poet Willem van Heemskerk, and an elegant wine glass with a scene engraved by Willem Fortuyn. The museum also boasts a 16th-century ‘dice glass’ (with a die still enclosed in the base). In addition there are international masterpieces, such as various fantastically shaped and colored Venetian glasses and bottles. (This description was taken from the museum web page)

The glass shown below is from their collection of Roemers, Waldglass and Facon de Venise.






Posted in Uncategorized by Allaire Collection of Glass on July 26, 2016

56 R Footed Jug with Thumb Rest

This distinctive jug has a spherical body which rests on a thick base. A tall tubular neck extends upwards from the body and terminates into a splayed lip. Below the lip is a thick glass trail. A wide handle is pulled up from the shoulder where it is tooled into an elaborate triangular finial.

H: 15 cm

Late Roman 4th to 5th C. AD

Shining Vessels #127

LACMA # 127

Hermitage # 188 and 196

Corning Vol. 2 # 714



Green English Wines in the Allaire Collection

Posted in Uncategorized by Allaire Collection of Glass on July 24, 2016


In the many aspects of English glass making, the Eighteen Century stands out as representing an enormous variety of drinking vessels most of which were made of colorless glass. Appearing, for a short time mid-point in this century (1750-1760) wines manufactured in green glass became a fashionable choice. The following photos from the Allaire Collection show a variety of examples of green English wines made during this short period.

English green wines in Allaire Glass Collection

English green wines in Allaire Glass Collection

To see more information on each wine glass click on the following number of the piece to be linked to it’s description. 35E, 55E, 82E, 96E, 97E-A, 97E-B


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

CAGE-CUP FRAGMENT of Nico F. Bijnsdorp



Early 4th century AD. Eastern Mediterranean, possibly Italy or Cologne.
H= 10.5 cm. L= 9.5 cm. Weight 78 gr.


Classification: Doppelfeld 1960: Group B4.

Condition: Small part broken off and glued. Internal crack and small hole restored.

Technique: Blown or cast. Wheel cut, ground and polished.

Description: Transparent colorless to yellowish amber glass.
The curve of the fragment indicates a diameter of the vessel of 13.5 cm, the straight wall
suggest more a beaker than a bowl. The curved, outsplayed rim rounded and polished.
Below the rim an openwork flange with an ovolo frieze containing fourteen egg-shaped
perforations (53 for the complete vessel) separated by darts. The body decorated with a
network cage, formed from circular meshes with a small cruciform motif at the junction of
each pair of meshes that conceals the post that connects the openwork cage with the
inner body. Concentric border above highest ring of (originally 15) meshes, where
additional posts are concealed under the V-shaped elements.

The manufacturing process of ancient cage cups was by cold-working of a thick-walled
blank by cutting and undercutting. That was a very slow and time consuming process
with risks of disaster throughout its manufacture. Consequently they were exorbitantly
expensive and were only owned by the very wealthiest of Roman society. The highly
specialized glasscutters (diatretarii) enjoyed high prestige and esteem. Only some ten
cage-cups are recorded in anything other than a fragmentary state and are all but one
part of museum collections.

This fragment was reportedly found in Turkey, Iskandaron Bay area.

Whitehouse 2015, CAGE CUPS, Late Roman Luxury Glasses, No. A-2.
In this book 65 fragments of cage cups are described, this one being the largest one and
the only one not belonging to a museum collection.


Posted in Uncategorized by Allaire Collection of Glass on July 20, 2016

The Victoria and Albert Museum

The Victoria and Albert Museum, in London

The Victoria and Albert Museum, in London

V&A Museum's Foyer with a Dale Chihuly glass sculpture in the center

V&A Museum’s Foyer with a Dale Chihuly glass sculpture in the center


The Victoria and Albert Museum, London, is the world’s largest museum of decorative arts and design, housing a permanent collection of over 4.5 million objects. It was founded in 1852 and named after Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. The glass collection covers 4000 years of glass making, and has over 6000 items from Africa, Britain, Europe, America and Asia. The earliest glassware on display comes from Ancient Egypt and continues through the Ancient Roman, Medieval, and Renaissance covering areas such as Venetian glass and Bohemian glass and more recent periods, including Art Nouveau glass by Louis Comfort Tiffany and Émile Gallé. The Art Deco style is represented by several examples by René Lalique. There are many examples of crystal chandeliers displayed in the British and Venetian galleries attributed to Giuseppe Briati dated c1750. The stained glass collection is possibly the finest in the world, covering the medieval to modern periods, with examples from Europe as well as Britain. Several examples of English 16th-century heraldic glass are displayed in the British Galleries. Many well-known designers of stained glass are represented in the collection including, from the 19th century: Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Edward Burne-Jones and William Morris. There is also an example of Frank Lloyd Wright’s work in the collection and other 20th-century designers. Most of the glass pictures below are from the museum’s own web site.


Posted in Uncategorized by Allaire Collection of Glass on July 19, 2016

MOLD-BLOWN BOTTLE of  Hans van Rossum





Late 3rd century – 4th century AD | Eastern Mediterranean, probably Syria

Size↑9.7 cm | ø 5.7 cm (body) | Weight 72 g

Technique: Body blown in a mold with two vertical sections. Neck and rim free blown, handles and coil applied.

Description: Transparent olive green glass, lens-shaped body, circular in front elevation. Cylindrical neck, flaring rim folded inward. Base indented with roughly cut off profile. Mold-blown decoration on body; on front and back, two concentric raised circles surrounded by rosette and twenty raised petals; on the perimeter, two rows of graduated circles with central bosses alternating with pairs of small bosses. Two opposed angular handles applied on the shoulder, drawn up and down, folded and applied to edge of rim. Probably the glassmaker had no good sense how to divide the amount of glass he needed; one handle is wide and massive, the other small and thin. The same with the trail around the neck; starting with a big drop, continuing in a thick coil, he ended the coil ring around the neck in a hairline trail. Pontil mark.

Condition: Intact, some slightly incrustation

Remarks: The same mold-blown design of concentric circles surrounded by a rosette was already used by the glass blowers during the first century AD. An example of this early mold-blown glass vessel is part of the Borowski Collection, no. V-52 and another one was part of the Collection of Monsieur Demeulenare no. 130. The early types however have different characteristics like form of the handles and the rim. They also does not have rows of circles on the sides. An identical example, made in blue glass, was formerly part of the Sheldon Breitbart Collection. It is striking identical with this example, except the way in which the handles are folded at the top. This blue one however is dated in the first century, so there is a friction in dating this type. Author of this book however prefers a dating in the third or fourth century AD, especially because of the thickness of the glass and the way in which the handles are formed. Mold-blown flasks with vague designs of concentric circles as on this example were first blown into a two-part patterned mold and after that inflated so the design could become barely visible.

Provenance: Private collection USA

Published: Arte Primitivo New York, auction 28 October 2009 lot 300

Reference: Glass from the Ancient World, the Ray Winfield Smith Collection, no. 253, H = 14.3 cm, The Breitbart Collection of Antiquities and Ancient Glass, Sotheby’s 20 June 1990, lot 85, Christie’s Antiquities, auction 8 April 1998 lot 15, Roman Glass in The Corning Museum of Glass – Vol. II, D. Whitehouse no. 638, Gorny & Mosch Munich, Auktion Kunst der Antike no. 202, 14. Dezember 2011 lot 113. H = 9.2 cm (one handle)


Posted in Uncategorized by Allaire Collection of Glass on July 18, 2016

SMALL MANGANESE JUG of A Private Dutch Collection of Roman Glass





3th -4th Century AD, Eastern Mediterranean
Size: 9.3cm D = 7.2 cm

Intact: some weathering and nice iridescence
Description: Free-blown juglet with very thin handle, slightly concave bottom. Pontil mark present.
Provenance: the Vittorio Pafundi collection
Museum Honig Breethuis Zaandijk (NL), ‘Fascinating luxury from Antiquity’, 12 November 2011-30 January 2012, exp. no 23
Superior Galleries Beverley Hills Ca. Fine Antiquities (1994)


Posted in Uncategorized by Allaire Collection of Glass on July 17, 2016

RARE UNGUENTARIUM of Joop van der Groen



Roman Empire, possibly north-east Italy or the Swiss canton Ticino │ 1st century AD
Size: ↑ 7,5 cm; Ø max. 4,0 cm; Ø rim 2,1 cm. │ Weight: 18 gram

Technique: Free blown. Tooled.
Classification: Variant of Isings (1957) form 6 and form 26 a.
Description: Transparent emeraldgreen glass. Squat bulbous body. Striking long tubular neck with constriction at bottom. Rim folded outward, upward and inward. Flat base, slightly indented. No pontil mark.
Condition: Intact with some weathering.
Remarks: This Roman perfume bottle is rare because of two reasons: the form and the colour. Only very few unguentaria of this form (with a very long tubular neck) have been founded.
Emeraldgreen is the least common colour in Roman glass. The colour has been achieved by addition of some percents iron oxide into bluish-green glass.
Provenance: 2006 Jürgen Haering Galerie am Museum, Freiburg (Germany).
Reference: Roman Glass in The Corning Museum of Glass – Vol. I (D. Whitehouse, 1997), no. 196 and no. 197.

Enameled Green Glass Flask

Posted in Uncategorized by Allaire Collection of Glass on July 15, 2016

Green Enameled Glass Flask

Green enameled glass bottle with screw top and cap. Enameled bottles of this type were produced in Bohemia, Germany and later in the US. The half post method was used for production.

H: 5 inches

D: Mid to late 18th Century

Ref: Merseyside # D27

67E Enameled Green Glass Flask

67E Enameled Green Glass Flask

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