Ancient Glass Blog of The Allaire Collection


Posted in Uncategorized by Allaire Collection of Glass on September 13, 2017


The Augustinus Collection of Ancient Glass

AcoaG # 22.1 Side view


4th. Century A.D.  Probably about 325-375

Variation to the so called Kowalk-glass

Isings form: 96b, Morin Jean form: 70 |

 ↑ 6.9 cm | Ø Mouth : 12.5-13 cm | Ø mid body: 9.5 cm | Ø Base facet: 3.2 cm| W: 295 g |

Technique: Formed in a mold, wheel cut incised, ground and polished; rim tooled and rounded off. The inside of the bowl is polished to a finer grain than the outside. The facets show the roughest surface.

Description: Bell-shaped bowl, handheld beaker or lamp. Transparent pale green thick glass, formed in a mold to a hemispherical shape; wide out splayed rim; wall and base decorated with 22 abraded facets in total. At the rim one cut line and below that, at a distance of 1.0 cm, three cut lines. One series of 13 round, almost oval, facets (2.0-2.2 cm) of which one facet is smaller (1.5-1.9 cm), below that a second series of 8 round facets (2.0-2.1 cm), finally at the base one large facet (3.2 cm.), slightly eccentric in position. The facets, that are adequate to hold the grip, are at some edges vaguely or unevenly abraded, but stand straight in line and are a wonderful example of craftsmanship, as stated by many scholars: this bowl-shaped Kowalk glass is exceptional.

Condition: Complete, repaired from two circularly broken parts by Restaura Haelen/Heerlen (NL). Scratched, with some pitting, some weathering, some horizontally squeezed bubbles near the rim. Two very small parts missing from the rim. The bowl did not undergo cleaning and is in semi-translucent condition.

Remarks:  Variation to the so called Kowalk-glass, named after a site of find in Poland. This version is a bowl instead of a beaker. (See Whitehouse, Lierke and Sjternquist.)

Anton Kisa calls the bowl-type with ovals rare: ‘Beakers (rarely bowls) with ground ovals or facets.’ He, and Oscar Almgren, discuss the bowls in the chapter: Finds of Ancient Glass in Scandinavia. ( Vol. III, Ch. XI.5).

According to C.Isings, form 96b, p 114-115: ‘Wheel-cut or wheel-incised bowls with facet patterns, coming, among others, from Strasbourg and Amiens, plus from scandinavian finds at Ganzkow, Sigerstad, Skørringen and Himlingöje.’

  1. Doppelfeld brings up the thought, that: ‘From such a regular grit it is a small step to the mazes of the Cage-cups.’

Also F. Fremersdorf, 1967, Vol. VIII, states at p 16: ‘And if we come to have a closer look at the geometrical decorations of the tall bell-shaped beakers, so we come to the conclusion that there must have been some kind of influence from or a correlation to the cage-cups.

According to Whitehouse the findplaces fall into two broad groups: ‘the first is in south-eastern Europe, Hungary, Rumania, and Ukraïne, and the second is in north-western Europe, Norway, Sweden Denmark, and northern Germany.’ The majority of find-places is outside of the Roman Empire.

Regarded as a lamp the outsplayed rim forms an excellent possibility to hang it with a bronze chain device, while the facets create a wonderful display of circular shapes around the room or on a table. As Rosemarie Lierke calls it:, ‘Light breaking ground facet-decoration’, suggesting these bowls to be lamps. (Lierke, Antike Glastöpferei, p 97- 138.)

According to Berta Sjternquist both beakers and bowls, of the ‘Kowalk’-type, have been in exsistance, where as the bowls, because of their limited height, have rather sparse decoration.

Parallels: F. Fremersdorf: ‘Such in comparison simple cut decorations appear in Denmark at a regular basis; though these finds concern very often almost conical beakers with a round base.’ National Museum Copenhagen, 846, FO Tofte-Lolland, 8306 FO Hojrup, 8986, FO Hoernum, etc. Fremersdorf VIII, Vol.II, plate 33, text Vol I, p 69, plate 33, no R822, from the city of Mainz in Germany, and from Cologne no 24.400 as a close parallel. From Sigersted: Inv. 22218, Kobleaa: Inv. C6339.

Provenance: From a Dutch collection, first publication. Fremersdorf states that the Scandinavian finds of facet-beakers and bowls nevertheless might be products of the Cologne area and partly of East-European background. ( VIII, Vol. II, p 35, footnote 5a.).


Kisa, 1908, vol. III, ch. XI. 5, p 905. Finds of Ancient Glass in Scandinavia.

Harden, 1938, Karanis, 426, plate XVI, p 152.

Isings, 1957 form: 96b, Hemispherical decorated bowl, p 114.

Doppelfeld, 1966, no’s: 148, 149. Tekst: p 64, Fassetten- und Kugelschliff.

Fremersdorf, 1967, VIII, vol. I, cfr Plates: 32-110. Vol. II, Tekst: idem.

Rau, 1973, P.443, Werner 1988 fig 12, Vaday 1994, fig 4.

Von Saldern et al, 1974, p 183, no 507, p 185, no 512.

Whitehouse 1997, CMG vol I, p 260, no 444.

Cmog Acccession number 66.1.21


Lierke, 1999, Antike Glastöpferei, p 97- 138.

Sjternquist: A glass beaker with cut decoration found at Uppåkra, Sweden.

She quotes from different Scandinavian sources as: Näsman (1984), Straume (1987),

Hansen (1987).

Bell-shaped bowl from Mainz Germany, inv. R 812, Fremersdorf 1967, VIII, vol. I, plate 33. H: 4.2 cm, D-rim 5 cm.

Bell-shaped bowl from Mainz Germany, inv. R 812,


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