Ancient Glass Blog of The 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 Previously unpublished.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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