Ancient Glass Blog of The Allaire Collection


Posted in Uncategorized by Allaire Collection of Glass on January 7, 2017


The Augustinus Collection of Ancient Glass


                2nd, first half first century B.C., H: 1.15 cm, W: 0,95 cm, Thickness: 0,24 cm

 Technique:  Formed from a mould with the original carving of the subject in relief. More examples could have been produced. Classical style.

Description:  Yellow brown, or amber coloured glass when made transluscent, darker in appearence. Side of the oval towards the back rounded. Classic style of carving. Suffered from heavy wear. Placed in a 20th. century golden ring of the nineteen twenties.

Condition: Good, intact, heavy wear.

Remarks:  Although the gem is not very sharp on the image, the beauty of the skillfully excecuted naked bodies in classic style is still well visible. Menelaus in the background is holding a shield on his right arm and supports the body of his son Patroclus on his left leg. A very emotional scene from ancient greek history as a reference to Homers Iliad, book XVII, verses 722 – 736. ‘Patroclus corpse is carried from the field.’


A marble sculpture with the same father-son image, partly from antiquity, can be seen in the Loggia of the Piazza dei Signori in Florence, Italy, erected by the Medici.

Provenance:  Castra Vetera Xanten Germany, found by a fieldworker in 1918 outside of the north-west area of the first castellum, where many gems have been detected in the last two centuries. Acquired from the descendants of the original finder who placed it in a modern gold ring. Eversince in the a private dutch collection. Hence by descent to the current collector.

Reference: Published by Gertrud Platz-Horster in 1994: Die Antiken Gemmen aus Xanten Vol. II.  p.151, plate: 39, no: 212. Furtwaengler, Berlin 49, plate: 9.635. Zwierlein-Diehl, Wuerzburg 160, plate. 64, 354. With elaborate explanation. A.Nietsche, AA 1981, p. 76.



Additional picture of the glass gem, in the ring and an impression of it.

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