Ancient Glass Blog of The Allaire Collection


Posted in 2. Ancient Glass, CATEGORIES OF GLASS TYPES ON THIS SITE, Roman Glass by Allaire Collection of Glass on September 8, 2018

From The Allaire Collection


(47R) Date: 3rd-4th Century AD,  H: 11.5 cm

Remarks: This is a sprinkler flask where the narrowed opening of the base of the neck enables oil or perfume to be poured out drop by drop. The bowl is decorated with fins and base with toe projections. The piece is intact and is made of light yellow green glass. This type of flask, probably made in Syria, has been found much further to the east as well as in the cities of the Black Sea region.

Ref: Ancient Glass at the Newark Museum, S.H. Auth no. 149

Also to see additional posts from contributing collectors follow the active links below


of Hans van Rossum




The Augustinus Collection of Ancient Glass



Posted in Uncategorized by Allaire Collection of Glass on September 5, 2018


Medusa Roman Glass Medallion NFB 301

Medusa Roman Glass Medallion NFB 301Mid 1st century AD. Italy

D max = 3.7 cm. Weight = 12 gr

Condition: Intact. Traces of grinding.

Technique: Cast/pressed into open mold.

Description: Translucent cobalt blue glass with a thin opaque white layer on the backside.
Circular medallion with rounded edge. Head of Medusa modelled in high relief (8.5 mm) surrounded by snakes. Deep set, bulging eyes, narrow nose and open mouth. Dots under chin. Flattened backside.

Remarks: A medallion like this was often given as a military decoration (phalera) to soldiers for distinguished action during battle or for merit. A phalera was attached to the soldier’s breastplate to be shown during parades.
The layer of opaque white glass at the back of the phalera makes the glass appear less dense by reflecting light back out of the glass (Newby).

Provenance: Ex the David and Jennifer Giles Collection,  Sasson Ancient Art Gallery, Jerusalem, Israel.

References: Newby 1999, the Dolf Schut Collection, No. 28. , Kunz 1981, Kunstmuseum Luzern, No. 340.


Double headed Large Medusa flask of David Giles

Side 1


Description: This is a very large (15cm) double headed Medusa flask, in aubergine (manganese) colored glass. The flask was made in two-part mold with a pontil mark on the base. Date: is 3rd/4th century AD.  Parallels can be found at The Louvre Museum, Newark Museum and Miho Museum.



Remarks: In Greek mythology Medusa was a monster, generally described as a winged human female with living venomous snakes in place of hair. Gazers upon her face would be turn to stone. Early depictions of Medusa show a repugnant, winged woman with frightening traits.  Beginning in the fifth century B. C., Medusa underwent a gradual transformation from grotesque to beautiful, as she became increasingly anthropomorphic and feminine. The connection of beauty with horror, embodied in all the figure of Medusa out lived antiquity, Fascinating and inspiring artists through the centuries.  Medusa became the archetypal femme fatale, a conflation of femininity, erotic desire, violence, and death. Along with the beautiful sirens, she foreshadows the conceit of the seductive yet threatening female that emerges in the late nineteenth century.



Presently at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York there is an exhibition “Dangerous Beauty: Medusa in Classical Art” The following pictures are of objects in that show. None of these objects are in glass.



Posted in Uncategorized by Allaire Collection of Glass on September 3, 2018


The Augustinus Collection of Ancient Glass

↑ 10.4 cm | Ø body: 5.4 cm | Ø Mouth : 4.05 cm | Ø Base facet: 4.0cm | Weight: 5.3 g |

Date: First half of the third century. From: Syro-Palestinian or from Italy.  Isings form: 78b. Morin-Jean: 120.


Description: Bottle in the shape of a male head. Transparent light-green glass. Possibly the portrait of a young Adonis or Antinous as Dionysos. Youthful head with long hair in large soft locks; wide open eyes and large ears. Intact, but repaired at the base; with patches of brown accretion and bluish-white iridescence. Flasks with a single head rarer than the double headed form.

Technique: Mold construction type IV. Body blown in a three-part mold with one visible seam on the left side of the head. Rim and neck free blown. Everted rim folded outward, then rounded. Circular flat base, with depressed circular area on the underside with pontil mark.

Condition: Mostly intact; a part of the base broken off, visible repair; some residue of ointment, on the inside of the side and bottom of the flask, still visible.

Provenance: From a private Dutch collection; previously unpublished.

Reference: Von Saldern, 1974, Glaeser der Antike, Sammlung Erwin Oppenlaender, 464, p171. Stern, 1995, The Toledo Museum of Art, Roman Mould Blown Glass, Chpt III, p201-246. Kunina, 1997, Ancient Glass, no 159, p282. Whitehouse, 2001,The Corning Museum of Glass vol II, no:542, p70.



Posted in Uncategorized by Allaire Collection of Glass on September 1, 2018

Sprinkler Flask (Guttus)

The Augustinus Collection of Ancient Glass



Date: 4th century AD | Eastern Mediterranean | Kisa: Formentafel F347. Size: ↑ 8.1-8.9cm | Ø body:6.65 cm | Ø Mouth : 5.85 cm | Ø Base facet | Weight: 89 g |


Description: Sprinkler of transluscent green glass with almost globular body; cylindrical neck with folded collar rim; two handles and flattened concave base. The two handles of the same colour applied with an affluent amount of glass on the shoulder on opposite sides, drawn up and attached in a fold to the overhanging tubular flange, that was unevenly balanced as the rim was pushed down in the process of rounding, and probably flattening the base.

Technique: Globular body blown into a mould and partly twisted to produce the diagonal lining. Base flattened; cylindrical neck attached after an inner diaphragm was placed at the junction of body and neck. Wide funnel mouth created with a hollow rounded fold.

Condition: Intact and complete. Some vertical, elongated bubbles in the neck. Sand encrusted, with cream-white iridescence.


Ad 1. Joop van der Groen en Hans van Rossum give a rather nice account in dutch language of the 4th. century sprinklers and their history in: Romeins glas uit particulier bezit, p76- 81. Mattrijs Utrecht, the Netherlands, 2011.

Ad 2. Frides Laméris, mentions two sprinklers with collar rims and with three to five feet in their catalogue: Glass with a Divine Touch, p 134-135, no 89 and 90. Amsterdam 2017.

Ad 3. Whitehouse, CMG vol 1, no 297, jar, no 298, Jar with collar rim.

Provenance: From a private Dutch collection, first publication.



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