Ancient Glass Blog of The Allaire Collection


Posted in Uncategorized by Allaire Collection of Glass on July 2, 2017

Piriform Roman Flask of Elisabeth & Theo Zandbergen


Origin: Most probably Syria ~ 4th century AD.

Dimensions: H. 15,9 cm.; ø rim 3,5 cm.; ø foot 4,5 cm.; largest ø ~ 5,2 cm.; weight 62,9 gram.

Description: The elegant piriform body of this yellow-greenish glass is set on a hollow foot formed from the same glass gathering as the body. It is decorated with two handles made from blue glass with nipped extensions over the sides. At the top, the body narrows down to form a slightly tapered cylindrical neck with a flaring mouth being outward /inward folded rim. The pontil mark is quite visible.

Remarks: These flasks are sometimes called amphorae, but I think that is extending the meaning of amphora a bit too far. As flasks of this type are quite often present in museums and collections these must have been quite popular in those days, but what did they store in those flasks? Presumably these were on the dressing tables filled with fragrant substances and not regular household items.

Parallels:- Rossum van, Roman Glass and early Byzantine pg. 173 nr. HVR 030,without foot and mono color green,- Bijnsdorp, Fascinating Fragility, pag. 310/311, nr. NFB 055, without foot, optically blown body; NFB 273, footed and with left and righttwo handles on top of each other forming a kind of B form,- Lightfoot, Ancient Glass in National Museums of Scotland, pg. 124 nr. 302- Arveiller-Dulong & Nenna, Louvre II, pg. 394 nr. 1064,- Kunina, Ancient glass in the Hermitage collection, pg. 333 nr.405, 229 nr. 203- Christies NY sale 12257, 25-10-2016, lot nr. 163, mono green- Whitehouse, Corning Vol. II, pg. 174/175 nr. 711,- Israeli, Ancient glass in the Israel museum, 249, nr. 347; pg. 264 nr. 347- 3000 Jahre Glaskunst, Kunstmuseum Luzern, pg. 99 nr. 375,- Ánimes de Vidre, les Colleccions Amatller, pg.100/101 nr. 76, slightly different spout,- Antonaras, Fire and Sand, ancient glass in the Princeton University Art museum, pg.151 nr. 210,- Stern, Römisches, byzantinisches und frühmittelalterliches Glas 10 v.Chr – 700 n. Chr., pg 307 nr. 170,- Metropolitan Museum NY, X.21.201

Provenance:- Ex Yitzhak (aka) Mizrahi collection, Tiberias- Archeological Center Tel-Aviv, auction nr. 61, lot nr. 176




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