Ancient Glass Blog of The Allaire Collection


Posted in Uncategorized by Allaire Collection of Glass on November 29, 2017

SMALL ONE HANDLED BARREL JUG of  The Windmill Collection of Roman Glass


Date: 2nd – 3rd Century AD,  Gaul or Rhineland  Size: H  8.6 cm.  D  4.2 cm

Classification: Isings (1957) form 89, Morin-Jean, form 132, Kisa, form 268,Goethert-Polaschek form 121

Provenance: Private collection Cologne (Germany)

Description:  Greenish, almost colorless, transparent little jug. Cylindrical body divided in three parts, shaped and decorated as a barrel with four continuous horizontal ribs above as well as below. The plain middle section slightly convex. Blown in a two-part mold, nearly flat bottom, no inscription. Free-blown cylindrical neck with rim folded out, round and in, flattened. From shoulder vertically drawn up a delicate flat strap handle (in same color as body) turned in horizontally and then with a loop attached to the rim.

Condition: Completely intact, numerous pinprick bubbles (at one side also two larger glass bubbles). Faint silver and yellow/purple iridescence.

Remarks: Barrel jugs (also called FRONTINUS bottle) as a separate variant on cylindrical bottles are typical for a production in North-West Gaul and the Rhineland, but they are also occasionally found in tombs in the Anglo-Saxon area, Belgium, Switzerland and the Netherlands.

According to the Roman historian Pliny (23-79 AD) barrel jugs were a specialty of the peoples in the Northern part of the Roman Empire. These wooden vessels probably served for the storage of wine. Another writer (Strabo 19 BC- 19 AD) also pointed out that the Gauls were skillful in making wooden barrels and that reliefs of sculpture from Gaul witnesses of everyday use. Duval suggests that the shape of the bottles may be inspired by the Gallo-Roman God Succellus. This was (even thought in the Celtic times) the God of the agriculture and alcoholic drinks such as wine and beer. The God was depicted with a large hammer (like a wooden barrel) and in the other hand a kind of barrel (olla).

The first glass specimens have been found from the end of the 1st /early 2nd century AD (Isings), the production runs through until the 4th century. Typical are the ridges or grooves on the body, almost always in an equal number of both above and below. In between ian obvious bulging, thus suggesting a keg of which the staves are held together by hoops.  The number of grooves or ribs varies depending on the size of the bottle. The smallest have twice four, the largest seven above and below. Most found jugs (as between 17 and 21 cm high) have five or six. As always there are exceptions: in the collection of the Römisch-Germanisches Museum in Cologne is a small jug (12.6 cm) with four grooves above and six below.

In Isings type 89 globally two groups are differentiated: a. blue-green glass, two handles, larger dimension, usually bottom brand, dating 2nd-4th century AD and b.  virtually colorless glass, one handle, small size, usually no bottom brand, early 3rd-4th century AD (Sennequier). Yet this distinction is not entirely decisive, because at some finds there are also variants in terms of color and dating within these two groups founds. For example, some minor barrel jugs have been found in a 2nd century context. There also is a variant (Rhineland) with a separate extra decoration on the belly (tiny balls or grain of sand)

Capacity: Roman measures of the most common bottles and the conversion liters:

1.5 cyathii                                                           0.068 liter (like the above jug from the Windmill collection) varying in height from 8.2 -11.5 cm

0.5 sextarii (6 cyathii)                                     0.27 liter

1.5 sextarii                                                          0.8 liter

2.0 sextarii                                                          1.078 liter

3.0 sextarii                                                          1,62 liter

4.0 sextarii                                                          2.25 liter (rare)


Sennequier: further notes that possibly not only the size determines the use. Maybe they were commercially designed, so the form could exclusively be linked to one particular drink.  As today for example Coca-Cola in its characteristic form.

Most barrel jugs have a brand name at the bottom. It is not entirely sure if this is the name of a glassblower or maybe the owner of the workshop or the merchant.  By the excavations in the 19th century (Abbé Cochet) in Normandy (France) initially was supposed that the center of manufacturing lay in the Forest d’Eu (Seine-Maritime), other scientists also included Boulogne, Beauvais, Gallia Belgica and Cologne as possible workshops where this form would have been produced. Some assume that in North-West Gaul was a kind of headquarters, with branches in the far area. The owner then makes use of its own or glassblower (derived) brand. There would thus be no question of a monopoly position.

In connection with the frequent occurrence of the name FRONTINUS barrel jugs also are referred to with the general name FRONTINUS. There are many variants on FRONTINUS known as FRO, FRON, FRONTI FROTI and others, these are mainly found in France. There are also other marks such as Q CASUS NOCTURNUS, FELIX (FE) and PROMETHEUS. The brand EQVA (with variants) occurs in the area around Cologne, such as Hambach Forst and was not found in France. The production in the Rhineland seems to be of a slighter later date as in Gaul, as shown by the museums of Bonn, Cologne, Duisburg, Worms, Speyer, Trier and Mainz.

As said before small bottles with one handle usually have no bottom brand. The first little ones with an brand have a size from about (11.5 cm high). Sennequier points out that this type is rarely found.

It is assumed that the content of barrel jugs was wine but this is absolutely not sure. The fragility of the glass close reuse virtually out. The glass is generally good, sometimes lumps and impurities in the surface The bottles found in Haute-Normandie (blue-green), often with only one handle, can be dated from 1st century end to end 3rd century and are of good quality. They are replaced by bottles (3rd-4th century) with two handles, these have a slightly different chemical composition and are of significantly lower quality (Sennequier ). Because most bottles were found in graves the use of them have been associated with burial rituals. The vast majority is found in women graves, the really small ones sometimes in a children’s grave as for example in Poitiers (France) where a little barrel jug (7.5 cm high) was placed in a stone sarcophagus (mid 2nd century AD) to the left of the head.


Römisch-Germanisches Museum Cologne;  Musée Carnavalet  Paris (8.9 cm); Metropolitan Museum New York (11.6 cm); Staatliche Kunstsammlung Kassel (10.8cm); Musée Départemental de Seine-Maritime (8.2 cm); Verres Antiques et de l’Islam, Demeulenaere collection (8.8cm).


Pictures made by Aad van den Born


Posted in Uncategorized by Allaire Collection of Glass on November 28, 2017


Late first century AD. Eastern Mediterranean.
H = 12.0 cm. D rim = 6.6 cm. D base = 4.4 cm. Weight 98 gr.

Classification: Weinberg 1972: Group 1.

Condition: Intact. Very crisp relief. Minute chips to rim. Some iridescence and incrustation.

Technique: Blown in a five-part mold with four vertical sections and base plate.

Description: Semi transparent light olive-green yellowish colored glass. Slightly everted cut-off rim with ground lip. Straight walls tapering slightly towards the flat base with a raised ring-and-dot motif. The walls decorated in relief in a frieze between 1.5 cm below rim and 1.5 cm above base, comprising four panels, separated by plain columns with stepped bases and tall capitals that widen towards their tops. Above panels gabled tops in the form of triangles in raised outline. Each panel contains one figure standing on surrounding string course and facing right: (A): woman wearing a himation (cloak) over a long chiton, holding the hind legs of a dead boar in her down-stretched right hand and carrying a staff on her left shoulder from which two birds in the front and a hare in the rear are hanging. (B): nude male carrying dead calf upside down on his left shoulder. (C): male wearing a chitoniskos and chlamys with a vessel in his right hand and staff or sickle in left hand. (D): male with closely cropped hair, holding caduceus in his right hand and purse or tortoise shell in his left hand.

Remarks: G.D. Weinberg (1972) and K.B. Wight (1994) divided mythological beakers into four groups, this beaker belonging to group 1, that consists of some ten examples, most of them in museum collections (e.g. British Museum, Corning Museum, National Museum Athens, Kunstmuseum Düsseldorf). It is suggested, that the iconography on the beaker represents (A) as personification of Winter, (B) as Hercules, (C) as Hymen or personification of Summer and (D) as Mercury and that it refers to the wedding procession of Peleus and Thetis. These beakers have possibly been gifts at ceremonial occasions or served as ritual vessels.

Provenance: Ex Armand Trampitsch Collection, Paris 1960’s.

Published: Christie’s 7 October 2010, No. 54., Romeins Glas uit particulier bezit, J. v.d. Groen & H. van Rossum, p. 36-37.

Reference: Whitehouse 2001, Corning Museum, No. 527., Harden 1968, British Museum, No. 64.
Saldern 1980, Hans Cohn Collection, No. 46., Israeli 2011, The Shlomo Moussaieff Collection, p. 79.
Sotheby’s 4/5 June 1979, The Constable-Maxwell Collection, No. 143.

Enameled Roemer (Ray’s Roemer)

Posted in Uncategorized by Allaire Collection of Glass on November 26, 2017

Enameled Roemer (Ray’s Roemer)

This Victorian enameled roemer was made in Europe and possibly decorated by the Bohemian glass-worker and designer Kolo L. Moser. It was given to us by a dear friend.

H: 4 ½ inches


57E Enamelled Roemer

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Posted in Uncategorized by Allaire Collection of Glass on November 24, 2017

SQUARE BOTTLE of Hans van Rossum

Mid-1st – 2nd century AD | Northwest provinces of the Roman Empire, probably Italy

Size↑12.0 cm | ø 8.2 cm | Weight 154 g

Technique: Free blown, handle applied

Classification: Isings 1957 form 50a | Fleming 1999 handle typed. MS 5254 | Morin-Jean 1977, form 14

Description: A bottle of transparent bluish-green (blaulichgrün) glass with an almost cubic body, short cylindrical neck, as if sunken into the sloping shoulder. Flaring mouth, rim folded outward and inward. Flat bottom, rest of pontil; massive short two-ribbed strap handle applied on the shoulder and attached to the neck, just below the rim at right angles. No pontil.

Condition: Intact, some weathering

Remark: There are two ways of making these bottles, the mold-blown bottles are the more numerous, others were free blown and flattened by pressure on the sides and the base. The mold-blown bottle is usually of rather thick, bluish-green glass often with a base decorated in relief, the other variety has thinner walls. The free-blown variety mainly occurs in the Mediterranean area’ (Isings 1957). This example is free blown and has a weight of 154 grams. Similar square bottles, but mold-blown, weigh twice. The rim of most specimens is folded inward and pressed flat horizontally. Most handles are two-ribbed, others are three-ribbed or have a lot of sharp ribs, Isings says.Characteristics of a free-blown square bottle: more rounded, in contrast to a mold-blown example which has sharp edges. The neck of a free-blown bottle is mostly sunken into the sloping shoulder, caused by pressing to make the base flattened. No base mark, also a characteristic for a blown square bottle.

Provenance: collection Schellingerhout, Landgraaf (NL) 1970-1995

Published Venduehuis Zwolle (NL), auction 6 May 1996, lot 1087

Exhibited Museum Simon van Gijn Dordrecht (NL), February 2004

Reference Vetri antichi del Museo Vetrario di Murano, G.L. Ravagnan nos. 273 & 274 (free-blown) Vetri antichi del Museo Civico Archeologico di Padova, G. Zampieri no. 234 (free-blown) Vetri antichi ri raccolte concordiesi epolesane, A. Larese e E. Zerbinati no. 151 (free-blown), p. 186 Vetri antichi del Veneto, A. Larese, CXIII Casalini Vetri antichi del Museo archeologico al Teatro Romano di Verona e di altre collezioni veronesi, G. M. Facchini no. 558 & 559 (free blown) Vetro Vetri Preziosi iridescenze, S. Masseroli p. 161 (free blown)



Posted in Uncategorized by Allaire Collection of Glass on November 23, 2017

Thanksgiving Day is a national holiday celebrated in Canada, the United States, some of the Caribbean islands, and Liberia. It began as a day of giving thanks for the blessing of the harvest and of the preceding year. Similarly named festival holidays occur in Germany and Japan. Although Thanksgiving has historical roots in religious and cultural traditions, it has long been celebrated as a secular holiday as well. It is a day to celebrate and give thanks for health, home, family, friends and good food.


Posted in Uncategorized by Allaire Collection of Glass on November 22, 2017

ROMAN GLASS JAR WITH ZIG-ZAG DECORATION of the The Augustinus Collection of Ancient Glass

| From the 3rd-4th century AD. From Karanis, Faiyum*, Egypt | Kisa: Form: F 376.

Size: ↑ 6.82 cm | Ø body: 7 cm | Ø Mouth : 6.25 cm | Ø Base: 4.52cm| Weight: 99 g  |


Technique: Free blown globular jar with concave neck and slightly outsplayed, rounded rim, base indented with pontil mark; applied with trailing between shoulder and rim.

Description: Transparent yellow-green globular jar with rounded rim, short neck, and slightly concave base. A continuous horizontal zig-zag trail, 6 times up and down, forms a ‘collar’ and connects the rim with the shoulder of the vessel. The trail, in exception to most examples, is pushed against the neck. ***

Condition: Complete, zig-zag trail intact; some weathering and with white iridescence, adhering sand; some pitting and bubbles that are horizontally elongated at the rim; many bubbles are typical for the Karanis-glass in the Faiyoum .**

Remarks: * Harden states that there is no reason to suppose this type of glass was made in the Faiyum itself, for no glass-furnace has been found there and suggests these jars were made in Alexandria (1936, p 39).** Whitehouse remarks: ‘Jars of this type, transparent yellowish green glass with purple streaks and many bubbles, are typical of the glass from Karanis in the Faiyoum (CMG II, p 162, no 687).*** A clear, virtually unweathered and very balanced example, with the collar placed very close to the neck, is in the Allaire Collection, (40R Roman Glass Zig-Zag Jar. Link)

Provenance: Most likely from Karanis, Egypt.  From a private Dutch collection. Unpublished before.

Reference: Kisa, 1908, Form F 376. Harden, 1936, p 179, no 493. Hayes, p 115, no 442. Auth, 1976, p 223, no 474/ p 141, no 179. Barag, 1976, p 199, fig 97, no 30, from Beth She’arim, Israel. Whitehouse, 2001, vol. II, pp 161-162, no 687. Stern, 2001, Roman, Byzantine and Early Medieval Glass, Ernesto Wolf Collection, no 120

( Two  pictures, view from the top and view from the base on the next page below)



Posted in Uncategorized by Allaire Collection of Glass on November 20, 2017

COSMETIC FLASK of Nico F. Bijnsdorp

The second half of 4th – 5th century AD. (Syro)Palestinian.

H: 13.0 cm. Dmax: 6.8 cm. Drim: 4.3 cm Dbase: 4.2 cm. Weight: 120 gr.

Condition: Intact. Part of thread on lower body lost.

Technique: Free blown and tooled. Thread, zigzag trail and handles applied.

Description: Transparent natural bluish-green glass with aquamarine thread and zigzag trail. Funnel mouth with everted rim, rounded in flame. Elongated bag-shaped body with constriction just above the hollow, pushed-in tubular base-ring. An aquamarine spiral trail wound counter-clockwise in thirteen revolutions around upper body and neck. On the widest part of the body a thick uninterrupted aquamarine thread wound clockwise as a zigzag with seven legs up- and seven legs downwards. Two coil handles arching up from the upper body and attached to the edge of the rim with an extra fold.

Remarks: It is rather unusual that two threads on the same glass are applied in different directions and there is no explanation why this was done. This type of cosmetic flask (also called kohl tube) was a common product of Syro-Palestinian workshops in the fourth and fifth centuries AD. At the same time or slightly later double and quadruple cosmetic tubes, sometimes with elaborate (basket-shaped) handles were produced in large quantities (see NFB 056), (Live Link NFB 121) and (Live Link NFB 334).

Provenance: Aphrodite Gallery, New York, USA. Private collection Massachusetts, USA, 1970’s.

References: Auth 1976, Newark Museum, No. 182. Israeli 2003, Israel Museum, No. 286. Neuburg 1949, Plate XIX 67. Stern 2001, Ernesto Wolf Collection, No. 143. Hayes 1975, Ontario Museum, No. 394.


Posted in Uncategorized by Allaire Collection of Glass on November 18, 2017


BLUE VASE-UNGUENTARIUM WITH BASKET HANDLE of the The Augustinus Collection of Ancient Glass

4th. to 5th. Century A.D.     Kisa form: A7

  ↑ 16.5/10.18 cm | Ø body: 4cm | Ø Mouth :4.85 cm | Ø Foot: 4.05 cm| Weight: 79 g

Technique: Blown into a cylinder-shaped form; with knocked-off and rounded rim; side-decoration and basket handle applied; round, hollow foot ring formed from the body by constriction and rounded; concave base with pontil mark.

Description: Tubular body of light-blue translucent glass, slightly widening at the mouth; knocked-off and rounded rim; applied decoration in the shape of four loops on either side, drawn up from lower part of the body and attached near the rim; basket handle placed at the rim on top of one side-decoration to the other, excess glass folded down; rounded  hollow foot.

Condition: complete, no cracks; elongated bubbles; slight iridescence; weathered to vague transparency; some adhering dust; beautiful condition all over, rare because of the basket handle.

Remarks: According to Whitehouse referring to a similar glass in the Corning Museum, no 741, volume II, ‘an object such as this is unusual in having both the conical foot characteristic of cosmetic flasks and a basket handle that is typical of multi-part cosmetic tubes.’ See also Kunina, 1997, # 414, p 335.

Provenance: Eastern- Mediterranean. From a private Dutch collection. Previously unpublished.

Reference: Spartz, # 143, 33.; La Baume, Cologne, I # D 79;  Liepmann # 130; Von Saldern, Boston,1968, no 56; Hentrich, 1974, # 103, p 95; Hayes, 1975, pp 82-83. Kunina, 1997,# 414, p 335. Whitehouse, 2001, CMG vol II, p 192, no 741.



Posted in Uncategorized by Allaire Collection of Glass on November 16, 2017


Dimensions: H = 13,1 cm.; ø bowl 6,8 cm.; ø foot 7,1 cm.’ weight 66 grams.  Origin: Tuscany ~ mid 17th century

Description: The round funnel bowl has 12 ribs formed with the mezza stampaura technique, or the double dip method. In the English nomenclature these ribs are called gadroons. Just above the gadroons the bowl is further decorated with a single thin thread of glass. The bowl is set on a hollow stem embellished with two somewhat annular hollow knobs. Subsequently the stem is set via a kind of “sock” on the slightly conical folded foot. For this type of stem the descriptive term “spool form” was developed. . (See the stem formation chapter on this site).

Remarks:There is a distinctive difference between cristallo and vitrum blanchum (VB). For example, cristallo has much less CaO than VB say ~ 5% vs. 10%. The Na2O% is also different say ~ 17% vs. 13% and for SiO2 ~ 70% and ~ 65% and that can vary by origin. See as example, the Annales of the 20th AIHV congress in 2015, pg. 552, Hulst eo. “The golden age of Amsterdam glass.

Tim Osborne stated in his catalogue of the Tim Udall collection that gadrooning was derived from a continental practice. See the picture of the jelly glass from the Tim Udall collection, now in our collection glass # 109 , which has the same type of decoration. From the input of Peter Korf de Gidts and Kitty Laméris we learned that this type of decoration is typical for glasses from Tuscany. (see the references under parallels)


  • Dexel: Gebrauchsglas pg. 41 fig. 9a,
  • Laghi, Fragili Trasparenze, vetri antichi in Toscana, nr. 13 pag. XIX, Biccheri Firenze, coll.privata. See also pictures 3 and 4 for the typical stem construction.
  • Ciappi, Laghi eo. “Il vetro in Toscana, Strutture Prodotti Immagini (sec. XIII-XX) pg.69, see also pg. 94 fig. 148,
  • See also Lanmon, The Golden age of English glass pg. 82,
  • See glass # 122E from the Allaire collection which is an almost identical glass.



  • “with” Derek Davis, June 1978,
  • the Henry J. Mein collection,
  • Bonhams New Bondstreet, auction nr. 22605, nr. 69, 12-11-2014.


Jelly glass

H = 6,3 cm.; ø 6,3 cm.; ø foot 3,8 cm.; weight 69,5 grams,

Origin: England end 17th century.

Provenance: – ex Tim Udall collection,- Delomosne 2012,

Parallels: 42E English lead-glass Jelly Allaire Collection


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

ROMAN GLASS SIMPULUM of the The Augustinus Collection of Ancient Glass  and co-author  Hans van Rossum

First century AD. | From Aquileia or Adriatic Area |  Höricht forma: 17 |

Size: ↑10.81 cm | ↑Cup: 3.0 cm | ø Cup 7.51 cm | Weight: 38 g|

Technique: Free-blown cup; rim outsplayed, turned down and inward; handle tooled and applied, bent backwards at the top and a small surplus tip folded again; no pontil mark.

Description: Yellow-green, almost white transparant glass; with iridescence and encrustation. Cup mended from 12 parts; handle in one piece; at the end of the handle a smal triangle of glass is folded over as if forming the head of a cobra snake; a very small piece of the tongue or face seems to be broken or cut off.

Condition: Complete and uncleaned, heavy brownish encrustation; the cup once was broken into many pieces, mended in the past and professionally consolidated by Restaura, Heerlen (NL) in 2017.

Remarks:  Excitare fluctus in simpulo. ‘A storm in a teapot’ in translation from the latin, is a reference to the Simpulum in general, probably for the connotation of the instrument as a laddle to tranfer or to stir liquid with.

The true importance of the instrument though is, that it belongs to the seven priestly implements of the Pontifex Maximus. In other words, the Simpulum is a special instrument to be used only by the Emperor or Caesar, from Augustan times on, in his function of Pontifex Maximus, as is proven by coins and other imagery on which the ladle occurs, such as the exceptional beautiful blue and white glass cameo from Cologne, now in the Römisch-Germanisches Museum Cologne, Germany (inv. Nr. 72,153).*See additional information below.

Provenance: From a private dutch collection. Probably from Aquileia, or near the Adriatic coast. Previously unpublished. Rare, several examples are known to be in exsistence.

Reference: ROMAN SIMPULUM of  Hans van Rossum, Haevernick, 1977/1981, Modioli, p.367, plate 2., Höricht, 1995, I vetri Romani di Ercolano, Tav. XXVII nos. 2342, 2345, 2347., Lierke, 1999, von Zabern, Antike Glastopferei, Ein vergessenes Kapitel der Glasgeschichte, ISBN: 3-8053- 2442-1. Lazar, 2003, Roman Glass of Slovenia, p 23, from Emona, Mestni muzej Ljubljana. ISBN: 961-6500-18-X.

*Read more about this rare object click on this live link

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