Ancient Glass Blog of The Allaire Collection


Posted in Uncategorized by Allaire Collection of Glass on June 30, 2018

YELLOW JAR WITH HANDLES of The Windmill Collection of Roman Glass


Date: 3rd-4th Century AD, Rhineland  Size:H = 14.0 cm D = 13.5 cm

Classification: Isings form 65
Intact, some weathering
Description: This large thick-walled jar (with irregularly drawn-up yellowish-green handles) has been found in the Rhineland (Germany), possibly imported from the Eastern Empire. Could be used for storage, probably later on also for cinerary purpose . See comment ‘Romeins Glas uit particulier bezit’.
Provenance: Private Dutch collection
Exhibited: Thermen Museum Heerlen (NL), ‘Roman Glass from Private collections’, 29 April-28 August 2011,, Museum Honig Breethuis Zaandijk (NL), ‘Fascinating luxury from Antiquity’, 12 November 2011-30 January 2012, exp. no 28
Published: Romeins Glas uit Particulier bezit (2011)


Posted in Uncategorized by Allaire Collection of Glass on June 29, 2018

DECANTER WITH RIBS of Joop van der Groen



Roman Empire │ 1st century AD, probably 2nd – 3rd quarter
Size: ↑ 15,6 cm; Ø max. 9,6 cm; Ø rim 3,4 cm. │ Weight: 87 gram

Technique: Mold blown and free blown. Tooled.
Classification: Isings (1957) form 71.
Description: Transparent light aubergine coloured glass. Body first mold blown with ten ribs and then further free blown. Free blown cylindrical neck. Rim folded outward, upward and inward. Base flat, lightly pushed in upward. No pontil mark.
Condition: Intact with iridescence and with some encrustation inside.
Remarks: In the 1st half of the 1st century AD coloured glass was strongly fashionable. Later on in that century bluish-green glass was getting more popular.
Bluish-green is the basic colour of Roman glass. This has been caused because sand (the main element for making raw glass) has been polluted by iron oxide. By addition of some percents manganese oxide in the raw glass the colour changed into aubergine / purple.
Provenance: 2011 Atticard Ltd, London.
Reference: Kunstwerke der Antike (Cahn Auktionen AG Basel), Auktion 7, 03-11-2012, no. 83 ( till 1986 in the private collection of P.M. Suter-Pongratz, Basel, no. 65).
Isings (1957) writes about form 71 “Of this type only a few specimens are known, several of them found at Pompeii (Napels Museum)”.


Posted in Uncategorized by Allaire Collection of Glass on June 28, 2018

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





Posted in Uncategorized by Allaire Collection of Glass on June 27, 2018

Roman Jug  of  Hans van Rossum


4th century AD. | Eastern Mediterranean

Size↑13.2 cm | ø 8.7 cm | Weight 196 g


Technique: Free blown, handle and thread applied, tooled

Description: Transparent green glass with similar colored handle. Globular body; wide flaring trefoil mouth; rim rounded in flame, short cylindrical neck, ribbed handle with five broad ribs applied on shoulder, drawn up, making a loop and attached to back of rim. From base to rim of trefoil mouth a medium thick thread of turquoise glass, wound counterclockwise with approximately 27 revolutions. Mouth edge decorated with a coil of turquoise glass. Flattened base, slightly indented. No rest of pontil. Exceptional rare, probably unique.

Condition: Intact, with incredible beauty

Provenance: ex private collection USA Hadji Baba Ancient Art, London. Inventory number 4281 ex June 1986, Superior Galleries (Beverly Hills, USA) ex ancienne collection de Monsieur D(emeulenaere), sold at auction Hotel Drouot, Paris on 3 & 4 June 1985 lot no. 422

Published: Verres Antiques et de l’Islam, Ancienne Collection de Monsieur D., A Kevorkian lot 442

Reference: Fire and Sand, Ancient Glass in the Princeton University Art Museum, A. Antonaras nos. 253 – 25 Roman, Byzantine, Early Medieval Glass, E. M. Stern nos. 90 & 91


Posted in Uncategorized by Allaire Collection of Glass on June 25, 2018


Hellenistic cast, slumped, cut bowl topHellenistic cast, slumped, cut bowl bottom

Origin: Canosa, Apulia, Italy. Similar vessels were made also in Persia.

Date: 3rd Century BC,  Color: Olive green transparent glass,  Size:  Height 7cm Diameter 17.5cm

Description: Four cut bands around the exterior rim of the vessel, 12 vertical petals in sunken relief cut into the exterior body with a single central cut rib in 10 of the petals and a pair each in the two remaining. A six point star cut into base is surrounded by cut band. 12 bosses of irregular size and spacing around the rim of the vessel. Whole of interior shows grinding marks and also on exterior rim and on the extreme base where the star cut is.

Condition: Repaired

Probable Technique: Slab of glass formed in a pancake shape and bosses formed and shaped before slumping over a former and reheating. Cut decoration made after cooling and annealing.

Scarcity: Very rare type only about six examples surviving

Parallels: Example from Canosa in National Archaeological Museum Taranto., Example from Canosa in British Museum Masterpieces of Glass Page 32 Item 36, WEINBERG Glass Vessels in Ancient Greece 1992 Page 104 Item 61, SALDERN Glaser Der Antike 1974 Oppenlander Collection pages 92&98 Item 242, GOLDSTEIN:  Pre-roman & Early Roman Glass Corning Museum 1979 Page 134 Item, Journal Glass Studies Vol 1 pages 38/39


Posted in Uncategorized by Allaire Collection of Glass on June 23, 2018


Rhodian cast monochrome bowl

Rhodian cast monochrome bowl

Rhodian cast monochrome bowl

Rhodian cast monochrome bowl

Late 4th – early 3rd century BC. Rhodian.
H = 3.7 cm. Dmax = 12.2 cm. Drim = 12.2 cm. Dbase = 3.2 cm. Weight = 188 gr.

Triantafyllidis: Rhodian shallow phialai group B1.

Crack over almost entire body but not broken and complete. Slight iridescence, surface well preserved.

Cast and polished. Cut on both interior and exterior.

Almost colorless transparent glass with slight greenish tinge.
Thick walled (5 mm) shallow bowl. Outsplayed rim with rounded edge, flaring gently from almost straight sides. Wide horizontal groove (2 mm) on interior below rim, highlighting distinct carination between upper wall and rim. Slightly concave bottom encircled by a groove (1.5 mm), from where twenty one (21) elongated lanceolate petals with rounded ends radiate upward to the wall, where they are encircled by a pronounced horizontal groove that marks the junction of the lower wall and bottom. In the middle of each petal a median groove is cut.

Shallow cast monochrome bowls with slightly carinated walls at the height of the shoulder and the base of the rim were produced in Rhodian glass workshops from the late 5th century until the third quarter of the 4th century BC (Triantafyllidis). Glasswork from Rhodes in this period was influenced by glassworkers from Persia during the Achaemenid period (ca 550-330 BC) which makes it difficult to define the place of manufacture. The color of the glass, the profile of the bowl and the cutting of the radiating petals are the primary reason for defining the date and place of manufacture of the bowl: Rhodian rather than Persian.

Ex collection Joseph Uzan, Paris.

Enchères Rive Gauche, 19-20 November 2012.

Grose 1989, Toledo Museum, No. 34.
Goldstein 1979, Corning Museum, No. 248.
Triantafyllidis 2000, Nos. 4-7.


Posted in Uncategorized by Allaire Collection of Glass on June 20, 2018


Dating: The production of these glass bowls, colorless or pale green to olive green are attributed to the period of the Achaemenid dynasty in Persia (559-330 BC).

Description: The forms of the glass bowls are copied from the Achaemenid silver and bronze shapes. They feature either embossed fluting, rosettes of pointed leaves or lobed designs on both deep and shallow bowls with flaring rims.  The shallower bowls are called phiales.

Technique: The technique of manufacture was possibly the lost-wax casting method using the finest quality glass available. Many of these bowls show signs of being cut on the exterior and also polished on both surfaces.

The following bowl drawings are from, Early Ancient Glass, Toledo Museum of Art, 1989, David Grose

Achaemenid Bowls

Metal Prototypes


Achaemenid Glass Bowls



Hellenistic cast, slumped, cut bowl top

Hellenistic cast, slumped, cut bowl bottom

Bonhams Fine Art Auctioneers

Getty Villa, side view –

Getty Villa, bottom view


The State Hermitage Museum


Phiale Bowls: Metal Prototypes

Phiale Glass Bowls

Toledo Museum of Art


Corning Museum of Glass




Posted in Uncategorized by Allaire Collection of Glass on June 19, 2018

Molten Color: Glassmaking in Antiquity, Karol B. Wight, The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, 2011

The Molten Color exhibition at the Gerry Villa opened in January of 2006 and this book stems directly from that exhibition.  The glass show can be found on the blog at this link. Molten Color at the Getty Villa. The book is 136 pages, smaller size (6.5×8.5 inches) with 96 wonderful color photographs.  Don’t let its smaller size deter you, this book is packed with well written information not only about the objects but also Roman glassmaking in antiquity.




Posted in Uncategorized by Allaire Collection of Glass on June 18, 2018

As one of the most versatile of all vessel shapes the bowl was probably the first to have been made by our earliest ancestors.  A bowl is common open-top container used in many cultures to serve food, drinks and for storing other items.  Although other materials such as stone, metal or wood were used to make bowls before and during the Roman period, once glass became popular around the 1st century glass bowls were manufactured in great abundance.

The following examples from the Allaire Collection illustrate the many variations in the sizes and shapes of glass bowls created during the Roman period

For additional information on any of the above Roman bowls look up the (R#) in the right hand side search bar. The search bar can also be use to find something on this blog. It is on the right hand column on the opening page.  Depending on your device you have to scroll down to find it.  If on your viewing device (phone) there is no right side column then switch to full view.



Posted in Uncategorized by Allaire Collection of Glass on June 14, 2018

The San Diego Museum of Art

As the region’s oldest and largest art museum, the San Diego Museum of Art’s renowned holdings include a fine selection of European old masters, 19th and 20th century American art, an encyclopedic Asian collection, and growing collections of contemporary and Latin American art.

Balboa Park

The San Diego Museum of Art is located in Balboa Park a 1,200 acre urban cultural park with museums, several theaters, walking paths, gardens and zoo in San Diego, California.

The size of the glass collection is around 415 pieces from Europe, Asia and US.  Below are examples of their Roman glass collection from the Charles P. Douglass collection given to the Museum in 1937.


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