Ancient Glass Blog of The Allaire Collection

A MUST-SEE SHOW, “GLASS THROUGH THE AGES“, running from April 12, 2018 through October 7, 2018 in Dordrecht

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


Presented by

The Dordts Patrician House – Museum at the Meuse river

Located at banks of the old Meuse river and at the harbor area of the historical intercity of Dordrecht you will find the Dorts Patrician House active link, a beautiful monumental house which gives you a great impression of life at the end of the 18th century. Have a look at the fine details, paintings and drawings in this authentic 18th century house. The new show ‘GLASS THROUGH THE AGES“, will run from April 12, 2018 through October 7, 2018.  Now, as a visitor to the Patrician House, you can see this beautiful exhibition. The glassware that is shown comes from the collections of Hans van Rossum, Nico Bijnsdorp, Aad v.d. Born, Joop van der Groen, Martin, Annelies  and Elisabeth & Theo Zandbergen starts with very early examples from the 6th century BC. These are followed by over 120 Roman glass objects, dated 1st – 5th century AD.  Also on display are silver coins showing the Roman emperors being paired with glass objects in use at their respective reigns.  A nice example is the coin depicting emperor Otto, who was bald as a coot, wearing a wig.  A unique display.In another display cabinet drinking glasses are shown from the 1st century the year 1923, including a Merovingian cup.

For visitors there will be a very special offer to buy the book: Roman Glass borrowed from Private Collections with many high-class illustrations and the complete story of the production and used techniques by the Roman glass-workers. Visitors of the museum don’t pay € 19,95 but only € 7,50.

Below are examples of what you can see at the exhibition

(Click below to enlarge photos)

For additional information about the collections of these five contributors to the show click on their names and you will be taken to their page on this site.


Hans van Rossum

Elisabeth & Theo Zandbergen

Joop van der Groen

Nico F. Bijnsdorp


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

The majority of the Met’s initial holdings of Egyptian art came from private collections, items uncovered during the museum’s own archeological excavations, carried out between 1906 and 1941, constitute almost half of the current collection. More than 26,000 separate pieces of Egyptian art from the Paleolithic era through the Ptolemaic era constitute the Met’s Egyptian collection, and almost all of them are on display in the museum’s massive wing of 40 Egyptian galleries.[28] Among the most valuable pieces in the Met’s Egyptian collection are 13 wooden models (of the total 24 models found together, 12 models and 1 offering bearer figure is at the Met, while the remaining 10 models and 1 offering bearer figure are in the Egyptian Museum in Cairo, discovered in a tomb in the Southern Asasif in western Thebes in 1920. These models depict, in unparalleled detail, a cross-section of Egyptian life in the early Middle Kingdom: boats, gardens, and scenes of daily life are represented in miniature.  Taken from an article Wiklpedia (active link).

Most of the collections of Egyptian glass shown comes from archeological excavations from the ancient Egyptian/Roman city of Karanis in the Fayum region. Date: 3rd to 4th century



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



Date: Late 3rd – Early 4th century AD From: Western Empire, Gaul, Normandy. Dimensions:  H: 17.8 cm. Dmax: 8.6 cm. Drim: 4.2 cm. Dbase: 8.3 cm. Weight: 200 gr.


Classification: Isings 1957: Form 89. Morin-Jean 1913: Form 132. Sennequier 1993: Form HN.15.1. Goethert-Polaschek 1977: Form 121.

Condition: Intact. Some weathering and iridescence.

Technique: Free blown in mold with two vertical sections with integrated base-plate. Handle applied.

Description: Transparent bluish green glass. Cylindrical body divided in three horizontal bands of roughly equal height Top and bottom bands have six continuous horizontal ribs each, the central band is plain and slightly convex. Near horizontal shoulder with rounded edge. Cylindrical neck slightly tapering upwards to everted rim. Rim folded out, up and in to form a narrow flange with rounded edge. Infolded part of rim descends almost one cm into the neck. Flat base with pontil mark and mold seams. Broad handle with two side-ribs drawn up from edge of shoulder, bent sharply and attached  with a fold to neck and rim. Clearly visible mold seams adjacent to handle from lower neck, down the body to underside of bottom.

Remarks: This bottle was unearthed in 1875 by Louis-Gabriel Bellon (1819-1899), a French archaeologist and collector, who carried out regular excavations in North-west France. Mr. Bellon marked many of the unearthed objects with find-place and –year and other information. The underside of this bottle carries a sticker with his handwritten text “Amiens 1875”.

The seam between the two mold parts forms a curious, horseshoe-shaped pattern on the underside of the bottom. One vertical mold part includes almost the entire base, the other includes only a 1.2 cm wide strip along the edge. This type of mold is characteristic for barrel-shaped bottles made in Normandy (Stern 2001, No. 76).

Bottles like this one imitate wooden barrels that were used for storage of wine. They were exclusively made in the Western Empire, mainly in the North-west of Gaul and the Rhineland. The earliest ones have one handle, later examples have two handles (see NFB 372). Many of them have inscriptions on the bottom referring to the glassmaker Frontinus.


Sheikh Saud Bin Mohamed Ali Althani Collection, Doha, Qatar.

Louis-Gabriel Bellon Collection, Saint-Nicolas, France.



Jack-Philippe Ruellan Enchères 4 April 2009, No. 194.

Corinne Helin, August 2016, Louis-Gabriel Bellon (1819-1899) et sa collection d’antiques.



Whitehouse 2001, Corning Museum, No. 589.

Heinemeyer 1966, Kunstmuseum Düsseldorf/Hentrich, Nos. 53-54.

Harden 1968, The British Museum, No. 79.

Arveiller-Dulong 1985, Musée Archéologique de Srasbourg, Nos.170-171.

Sennequier 1985, Musée des Antiquités de Rouen, No. 275.

Loudmer 1985, Collection de Monsieur D(emeulenaere), No. 495.

Metropolitan Museum New York, accession number 81.10.73 (also from Amiens).


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


nfb 283


4th – 5th century AD. Egypt, possibly Coptic.
H = 16.0 cm. D max = 6.4cm. D rim = 5. cm. D base = 3.3 cm.

Condition: Amphora in perfect condition. Basket slightly damaged in two places.

Technique: Amphora free blown. Handles, thread, spout and foot applied. Basket in wickerwork, enforced by leather.

Description: Transparent olive-green glass. Basket pale and dark brown. The conical body of the amphora tapering to the bottom. Applied coil-foot with pontil mark. Sharp edge to shoulder, that is gently sloping to tubular neck with funnel mouth with infolded lip. One continuous trail, starting with one horizontal ring around the lower neck, then drawn up diagonally along the neck and ending in a second horizontal ring around the upper neck. Two opposed handles dropped onto the shoulder, arching to the neck and attached to the lower ring, where one handle ends but the other handle is further drawn up to end at the upper ring. A pointed, hollow spout is tooled on the shoulder.

Remarks: No unambiguous clarification could yet be given for the function of the spout and thus for the amphora itself. It has been suggested, that the amphora can be Coptic, since a similar object is exhibited in the Coptic Antiquities Room in The Louvre Museum in France. The clumsy way of placing and forming of the handles and the foot suggest, that this vessel was blown by a not very experienced glassblower.

Published: Slitine 2005, Histoire du Verre, L’Antiquité, p. 139.

Reference: No parallels could be found so far.


Posted in 2. Ancient Glass, CATEGORIES OF GLASS TYPES ON THIS SITE, Roman Glass by Allaire Collection of Glass on July 26, 2018
39R Coptic Bowl

39R EGYPTIAN BOWL FROM Date: Fourth Century D: 11 cm. H: 9 cm.


Remarks: This bowl from the Roman period was made in Egypt.  This link is to another Egyptian glass bowl from this area. Also see two Museum collections of glass from Karanis, The Brooklyn Museum and Kelsey Museum.


Posted in 2. Ancient Glass, CATEGORIES OF GLASS TYPES ON THIS SITE, Islamic Glass by Allaire Collection of Glass on July 25, 2018

R38 Islamic bowl or Lamp Diameter:10 cm Date: Eleventh Century A.D.


Remarks:This pattern-molded bowl is made of clear green glass with an inward folded rim. Bowls of this type, color and pattern can be found in many different sizes. It is possible that such glass vessels were used as lamps.

Cf. Shining Vessels, Ancient Glass From Greek, Roman and Islamic Times, Fortuna Fine Arts Ltd., New York, 1991 # 184, Islamic Glass, Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin, Marilyn Jenkins, 1987 # 38


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

The Metropolitan Museum of Art collection of medieval and Byzantine art is among the most comprehensive in the world. Displayed in both the Main Building at fifth Ave. and in the museum’s branch in northern Manhattan, The Cloisters museum and gardens,(active link) the collection encompasses the art of the Mediterranean and Europe from the fall of Rome in the fourth century to the beginning of the Renaissance in the early sixteenth century. It also includes pre-medieval European works of art created during the Bronze Age and early Iron Age. The medieval glass below is found in gallery 307 main building.



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

The Roman Glass Cinerary Urn

This was a vessel to contain the ashes of the deceased.  Urns of this kind, varied in shape and style, many were made of glass from the 1st to 4th century.  One type of glass urn has an ovoid body, with a flat base, a wide mouth and usually two massive loop-handles up from the shoulder; the cover is conical with a small flat cap.  The caps or lids also varied in shape and style. Some of the urns were also without handles or just one.  From: An Illustrated Dictionary of Glass, Harold Newman


Cinerary Urn Lids A Variety of Shapes and Styles

All photos from: Altino Glass of the Venetian Lagoon, Rosa Barovier Mentasti, Margherits Tirelli, editors, 2010



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

Venetian Plate or Platter of David Giles

Remarks: Venetian plate or platter with gilded decoration. The most interesting feature of this piece is that the decoration or design on the roundel is of Islamic form and was obviously made in Venice for the Islamic market. I hadn’t appreciated this when I bought it but one day an Islamic expert, Carlo Suriano, saw it and spotted this immediately. I also sent images to the Islamic expert Stefano Carboni who confirmed the same opinion.  Dated: early 1500  Diameter: 36cm  See close up of roundel below.



Posted in Uncategorized by Allaire Collection of Glass on July 16, 2018

Venetian Footed Bowl of David Giles


Remarks: This footed bowl with gilded and enameled decoration was made in Venice in the early 1500. Diameter is 28 cm. It is a beautiful, classic and important Venetian glass bowl.


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