Ancient Glass Blog of The Allaire Collection


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)

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