Ancient Glass Blog of The Allaire Collection


Posted in Uncategorized by Allaire Collection of Glass on June 4, 2018

Hellenistic Goldband Alabastron of Nico F. Bijnsdorp

Date: Late 1st century BC – early 1st century AD. Eastern Mediterranean. Size: H: 14.3 cm. Dmax: 1.9 cm. Drim: 1.5 cm. Weight: 53 gr.

Classification: Oliver JGS 1967: characteristics of both types A and B.

Condition: Intact. Few hardly visible fissures. Weathering and iridescence.

Technique: Rodformed, fused and pinched/tooled to create the wavy pattern. Possibly polished.

Description: Translucent glass in various colors. Canes or strips of colorless sandwiched gold leaf glass, translucent turquoise, medium blue, yellow-brown and amethyst colored glass fused together and tooled into a wavy pattern. Cylindrical body with straight, upward tapering walls and convex pointed bottom. Ground and bevelled interior rim allowing to insert a removable neck piece.

Remarks: In JGS 1967 Andrew Oliver Jr. discussed and catalogued this type of alabastron and divided it into types A and B. This division was not based on age or rarity but purely on differences in style. Group A has a tall, slender body with a very slight taper. Group B is smaller with a more pronounced taper and the colored bands are narrower, more numerous and more tightly wound. This alabastron has characteristics of both types. The pattern of the colored bands seems to relate to group A but the flecks of gold leaf appears exclusively in the colorless glass, which is typical for group B. It is much longer than examples in group B and comparable to the small example in group A. It is without the pronounced taper of group B but is not so pointed at the tip as one would expect in group A. Two renowned experts/authors of ancient glass have examined the alabastron and given their opinion in written reports.

Provenance: David Aaron Ancient Arts, London, UK., Private Dutch collection, 1980’s.

Published: Dr. Fischer Kunstauktionen 24-09-2011, No. 2.

Reference: Goldstein 1979, The Corning Museum, No. 584., Stern 1994, Ernesto Wolf Collection, No. 88., Miho 2001, The Miho Museum, No. 124., Tait 1991, The British Museum, p. 57., Saldern et al. 1974, Erwin Oppenländer Collection, No. 270., Wight 2011, The J. Paul Getty Museum, Fig. 29., The Metropolitan Museum, New York, accession number 17.194.284., The Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, accession number 1941.1099., The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, accession number 98.938.

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