Ancient Glass Blog of The Allaire Collection


Posted in Uncategorized by Allaire Collection of Glass on November 28, 2016

Blown Ribbed Glass Bowls with Delicate Trailing

Blown ribbed bowls (Zarte Rippenschale) with the ribbing ending at an arc under the mouth were decorated with a delicate filament of applied glass trail spiraling around the ribs. This relatively small group of vessels was circulated primarily in northern Italy, the Upper Adriatic, Switzerland and the Rhineland and maybe a Western product, date-able  to the first century and possibly later. The bowl was made by mold blowing, followed by working free-hand to apply the trailing, expanded by free blowing and finished with working the rim. This type of vessel was also made without the trailing decoration. The examples of both types are shown from many museums and private collections.


Posted in Uncategorized by Allaire Collection of Glass on November 25, 2016


From The Windmill Collection of Roman Glass

two-handled beaker or scyphos

two-handled beaker or skyphos

1st Century A.D., (Isings form 39), Rhineland (Germany)

Size:H = 6.8 cm, D = 12.5 cm
Condition: Intact and in excellent condition
Description: Greenish free-blown footed beaker or ‘skyphos’ with straight walls, everted rim and hollow glass thread. Two handles in same color.
Exhibited: Museum Honig Breethuis (NL) ’Fascinating luxury of Antiquity’ 12 November 2011– 30 January 2012 , exp no. 34
Provenance: Private collection Cologne (Germany)


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

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.


Posted in Uncategorized by Allaire Collection of Glass on November 22, 2016




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.


Posted in Uncategorized by Allaire Collection of Glass on November 21, 2016

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,, 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)


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


Roman Glass Guttrolf Sprinkler Bottle

Roman Glass Guttrolf Sprinkler Bottle

Roman Glass Guttrolf Sprinkler Drawing

Roman Glass Guttrolf drawing from Dr. F. Fremersdorf and no. 1041 of the Corning Museum!


3rd century AD | Eastern Mediterranean, probably Syria, Size↑16.0 cm | ø 6.3 cm (base) | Weight 110 g

Technique: Body pattern-blown, neck and rim free blown, handles applied, tooled

Description: Transparent yellowish green glass, blown into a mold. This oddity was blown like a standard small bottle but instead of one opening this guttrolf has five small openings, one (in reality two very small openings in the form of a pair of in the opposite direction fixed triangles ►◄) at centre and four at every edge, separated by diaphragms. The marks of the tool which was used are still very good visible. This bottle is also a sprinkler by having a constriction and inner diaphragm at base of the neck and that is not only rare but in combination with the form of a guttrolf also strange. The upper part of the body, including the tubes covered with mold-blown pattern of ribs is rare too. Two handles applied on the shoulder, drawn up and attached to the edge of the rim forming a thumb-rest. The base is slightly indented with no pontil mark.

Condition: Intact, some slightly incrustation and iridescence  ‘

Remarks: Vessels of this type, which are made in the Roman era as well as the medieval and later periods, were first discussed at length by Rademacher (1928-29) and Fremersdorf (1931). A form that is well-known among Venetian, façon de Venise, and German (Spessart) glasses of the 14th-15th centuries and later.’ (Whitehouse) Guttrolfs blown into a mold to be covered with a pattern of ribs are rare. One almost similar mold-blown Guttrolf belongs to the collection of The Corning Museum of Glass (inv. no. 63.1.17) of which Whitehouse suggests in Vol. III (2003) of the Roman Glass in The Corning Museum of Glass it may be a 19th century imitation. There are many Roman glass Guttrolfs, ‘…however none of these objects has molded and pinched decoration, and this observation, together with the almost pristine condition of 1041 (the Corning guttrolf), arouses the suspicion that the object may be an example of 19th-century period of Historismus.’ (Whitehouse) During this period companies like Ludwig Felmer – Glas & Porzellanwaaren – Handlung in Mainz and the Rheinische Glashütten – Actien – Gesellschaft in Ehrenfeld bei Köln are imitating not only Venetian and Old German but also Roman glass forms. Hans van Rossum refutes these arguments of Whitehouse in his Master-thesus (2008) entitled: ‘Roman Glass forms and their Nachleben, Creation, Imitation and Falscification’. This refuting is based on the fact of the existence of an identical Guttrolf which was part of the collection of Dr. F. Fremersdorf (‘Der Römische Guttrolf’ in Jahrbuch des Deutschen Archäologischen Instituts 1931, p. 133) and the existence of another similar Guttrolf which is described here (part of the Van Rossums collection) and which is more or less identical with the Corning’s example. Both examples made as a sprinkler, pinched and blown into a mold because the surface is covered with a pattern of cross-hatched (Fremersdorf) and diagonal (Van Rossum) formed ribs. Both guttrolfs are undeniably authentic. Hans supposes, and without any doubt, the Corning example is identical to the guttrolf that was part of the collection of Dr. F. Fremersdorf. The resemblance between them is so striking that no misunderstanding can exist. In that case, it is plausible that Wilhelm Henrich must have acquired this guttrolf from Dr. F. Fremersdorf after 1931, and the Corning Museum of Glass received the vessel from him in 1963, as a gift. Note: In reaction to my (small) research Dr. Whitehouse († 2013) promised to annotate his copy of ‘Volume III’ with a note to the effect that Fremersdorf’s Guttrolf is ‘similar’ (possibly identical)’ to inventory number 63.1.7. (email- 28 July 2012)

Provenance: Sasson Ancient Art Ltd., Jerusalem 2004 Collection Mayor Teddy Kollek, Jerusalem Published: Glass Circle News Issue 133, Vol. 36 no. 3, 2013. Romeins Glas uit particulier bezit, J. van der Groen & H. van Rossum 2011, p. 135 Archaeological Center Tel Aviv, auction 25, 11 April 2001 lot 177 Exhibited: Thermenmuseum Heerlen (NL), Romeins Glas, geleend uit particulier bezit, exp. no. 271 29 April – 28 August 2011 Reference: Roman Glass in The Corning Museum of Glass,Vol. III, D. Whitehouse no. 1041 Eretz Museum Tel-Aviv, inv. no. MH43558 Ancient Glass in the Israel Museum, The Eliahu Dobkin Collection and Other Gifts, Y. Israeli no. 388 Glas uit de Oudheid, B. Jansen no. 17 ‘Der Römische Guttrolf’ in Jahrbuch des Deutschen Archäologischen Instituts, F. Fremersdorf p. 131 – 152. Sotheby’s London, auction 20 Nov.1987 lot 65


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




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.
Condition: Intact.
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.


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

Aubergine Coil Pitcher with Light Green Handle

This aubergine glass pitcher has an ovoid blown body with an applied trail decoration and handle of light green glass.  The excellent state of preservation makes this elegant jug an extraordinary work of the late Roman glass industry.

H: 14.5 cm
4th Century AD

Newark # 121

44R Aubergine Coil Pitcher with Light Handle


Posted in Uncategorized by Allaire Collection of Glass on November 13, 2016



The Windmill Collection of Roman Glass

2016-Roman glass carchesium

Date: Late 1st-2nd Century AD (Isings form 36b), Rhineland

Size: H = 10.3 cm              D = 9.8 cm

Condition: intact

Description: Freeblown pale green bell-shaped beaker with applied foot. Rim plain and rounded, wall tapers, then splays to carination with slight overhang, below which it tapers sharply to bottom. No pontil mark.

Provenance: Private collection Cologne (Germany)

Ref.: Gallo-Roman Museum Tongres (Belgium); Kunstpalast Museum Dusseldorf (Germany); Rijksmuseum voor Oudheden, Leiden (Netherlands).

ROMAN GLASS SIMPULUM (Continued from another page)

Posted in Uncategorized by Allaire Collection of Glass on November 11, 2016

ROMAN GLASS SIMPULUM (Continued from another page)

(To read the first part about this rare object click on this live link)

* Cameo, ↑ 3.7cm, 37 BC, Römisch-Germanisches Museum Cologne (inv. Nr. 72,153).


On this rectangular image of small proportion (↑ 3.7cm) are depicted: the laddle or simpulum, the snake with a nimbus**, the staff or Lituus, the tripod, with underneath the hens of the Sibyllic Oracle, representing the Quindecimviri Sacris Faciundis, the fifteen men who were allowed to interpret the Sibyllic Oracle and of which the emperor Augustus became a member in the year 37 BC, ten years before his inauguration.

** Nimbus: A shining cloud sometimes surrounding a deity when on earth.


Ad1: The symbol of the snake, – coming up from it’s curled position, simplified as a cup with long handle ending as a cobra head -, is a reference to the birth of Augustus, who’s mother Atia did become pregnant from a snake during a sleep in the sanctuary of Apollo, near the Marcellus Theater built by Caesar. Augustus, ‘son of a snake’, is a personification of a better time to come. And indeed, the era of emperor Augustus (27BC-14AD) did bring about change and prosperity.

Ad2: The tripod, as a symbol of the Quindecimviri Sacris Faciundis, is known to belong to both Apollo and Dionysos, and the snake does function as intermediary between the two opposite powers. The bleu and white cameo was presented by Rosemarie Lierke, Erika

Simon and Erika Zwierlein-Diehl as an collaboration of ideas to the book: Antike Glastopferei, Ein vergessenes Kapitel der Glasgeschichte.

Ad 3.The size of the glass simpulum is rather small in comparison to bronze and silver versions, probably because of its religious and symbolic function. T.E. Haevernick suggests that the glass simpulum was used in connection to the Modiolus and that a concentration of production, though small in numbers, can be found in the adriatic area. Concerning date of production, it might be placed in the First century, for the simpulum, as one of the (7) priestly implements belonging to the Pontifex Maximus appears on the coins of Augustus (27 B.C.–14 A.D.) Caligula (37-41 A.D) and Vespasianus (69-79 A.D.).

Ad 4. Two different types of Simpula are being described by Höricht in I vetri Romani di Ercolano, 1995 as forma 17. Firstly the simpulum with trailed decoration around the outside of the cup, secondly the simpulum that does not carry any decoration as the version presented above.

– A third version that carries a horizontally attached handle to the cup can be regarded as a so-called ‘Trulla’, a glass version of the legionairs bronze casserole, is in existence, but is out of context and of no meaning in this story.

Ad 3. Several examples are known to be in existence. Höricht lists the examples from Herculaneum (Italian: Ercolano)  and Pompeii of 9 in total, another example from Tipasa in Mauretanium, North Africa, a white example is listed in the St. Louis Art Museum, one from Vitadurum dated at the end of the first century AD, another coming from Samaria in the Collection of van Hans van Rossum, also dated towards the end of the century, and this one in The Augustinus Collection of Ancient glass in the Netherlands, most likely from after the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius. (79AD).

Aureus of Nero (50-54). Reverse Four implements, the Simpulum, the Tripod, Lituus and Patera.


  1. Lituus, the staff, representing the Augures.
  2. Secespita, knife to slaughter animals and extract entrails.
  3. Aspergillum, to sprinkle holy water on the flesh.
  4. Simpulum, or simpuvium, a ladle to stirr or to transfer liquid for Libation, representing the Pontifices, who’s leader is the Pontifex Maximus: the Ceasar, i.e. Augustus.
  5. Praefericulum, ewer to pour liquids from, sometimes replaced by a Modiolus.
  6. Patera, round shallow dish to place entrails on; the symbol represents the Septemviri.
  7. Apex, in origin the olivetwig on the hat of the Flamen, a roman priest; later t the hat in totality was called the Apex of the Pontifex Maximus.
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