Ancient Glass Blog of The Allaire Collection


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

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