Ancient Glass Blog of The Allaire Collection


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

Date: Late 1st century B.C. – 1st century A.D.

Location: Metropolitan Art Museum, Gift of Pierpont Morgan 1917 (17.194.170

Remarks: This very important and beautiful elegant jug, whose shape imitates that of a metal vessel, shows how quickly the newly founded Roman glass industry mastered its medium.  It represents a transitional phase in glassmaking, when casting, cutting and blowing techniques were used.  The jug’s handle was cold-carved and the base was cut on a lathe, but the body seems to have been blown.  A similar combination of techniques is found on some examples of early Roman cameo glass, notably the British Museum’s Portland Vase.

The techniques casting, cutting and blowing used to make this jug along with its unusual opaque blue color makes it very rare. Below are two other vessels with these similar properties on this blog.

ROMAN OPAQUE BLUE GLASS JUG of Nico F. Bijnsdorp (active link)



OPAQUE BLUE ROMAN GLASS BUD VASE of David Giles (active link)





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


Date: Roman 1st Century AD

Size: 9.7cm high

Description: The color of the glass aryballos is aubergine with splashes of white, blue and yellow glass.

Condition: Intact.



Posted in Uncategorized by Allaire Collection of Glass on November 26, 2018




Mid-1st century AD | Eastern Mediterranean or Italy

Size↑6.5 cm | ø 4.5 cm | Weight 26 g

Technique: Free blown, picked-up opaque white chips; handles applied

Classification: Barag 1970, vol. 2, pl. 37, type 9.1

Description: Aryballos of thin translucent blue glass with flecks of opaque white color, this so called splashed glass is a much more elaborate and earlier product than the well- known aryballoi. This oil flask has a globular body resting on a flattened base, a cylindrical neck. The rim folded outward, downward, upward and inward to form a collar-like rim. Two handles applied on the shoulder, drawn up and attached to the neck. The handles in translucent light blue glass. The bottle as a whole decorated with random ”splashes” of opaque white glass. No pontil mark.

Condition: It is difficult to determine whether the body has some very fine hairline cracks, or that this is due to the composition of the splashed glass. (Craquelé)
Remarks: These splashes were produced by rolling a bubble of (blue) glass over a marver covered with shards and chips of colored (white) glass. The bubble of glass mixed with the shards and chips would then have been reheated to make it ready for blowing. The chips melt flush with the surface and change shape when the glass expands; round at the greatest diameter, elongated vertical in the neck. ”It has been suggested that this technique may have been developed to imitate the more costly mosaic glass. An exceptional example of a rare technique of decorating ancient glass. Many of these glasses are found in the Aegean area and in South-Russia.” (Whitehouse 1997) On the backside of the stand a brown-colored paper label with the following text: ”Amphora, röm. Kaizerzeit 1 Jh post – OP S 141 rejo’’.

Provenance: Auktionshaus Cologne, Germany, Private collection, Cologne; acquired in the 1950s, thence by descent

Published: Romeins Glas uit particulier bezit, J. van der Groen & H. van Rossum 2011, p. 98
De Oude Flesch, no. 121, 2010, p. 22. Vormen uit Vuur no. 220 (2013), p. 21

Exhibited: Thermenmuseum Heerlen (NL), Romeins Glas, geleend uit particulier bezit, no. 166
29 April – 28 August 2011

Reference: The Benzian Collection of Ancient and Islamic Glass, Sotheby’s London 7 July 1994 lot 134
Römische Kleinkunst Sammlung Karl Löffler, P. La Baume – J.W. Salomonson no. 18, inv. no. 181

Dutch Baluster Wine

Posted in Uncategorized by Allaire Collection of Glass on November 24, 2018

81E Dutch Baluster Wine Allaire Collection

 81E Dutch Balster Wine


This is a beautifully shaped baluster wine from the Netherlands made of soda glass.  It has a bell bowl with stem of two solid knops and a knop with tear on a solid base.

 H: 17 cm

C. 1720

Ref: Bickerton # 160


Posted in Uncategorized by Allaire Collection of Glass on November 22, 2018




Late 2nd – early 1st century BC. Near East (Alexandria?) or Italy.

H= 8,6 cm. D max= 19,3 cm. D rim= 11,2 cm. D base= 7,6 cm.
Weight 320 gr.

Classification: Andrew Oliver Jr. 1967: Type A.

Condition: Intact. Tiny chips to upside handles.

Technique: Cast, ground, lathe-cut and polished.

Description: Semi-translucent colorless glass with a yellowish grey tinge.  The hemispherical body on a low outsplayed ring foot. Rim cracked off and ground. The integral ring handles with flat horizontal upper and down-curved lower plates, aligned with the rim above. Vertical wheel-cut grooves on body where upper handles merge with the vessel’s rim.

Remarks: Glass skyphoi were cast in molds in one piece with their handles and feet.  On the vessel’s cooling, the orifices in the handles, their further details and the feet were finished by chiseling and cutting. Subsequently the vessel was ground and polished on a lathe. Colorless glass was often chosen deliberately to imitate rock-crystal. The handles were designed to be held with the thumb, forefinger and middle finger. Most skyphoi were made from metals: gold, silver or bronze.

Published: Christies 8 June 2004, No. 11.

References: Kunina 1997, Hermitage Museum, No. 57., Saldern 1968, Boston Museum, No. 10. ,Christies 12 June 2002, No. 170.
Arveiller-Dulong 2000, Louvre Museum, No. 208., Fortuna Fine Arts 2009, After Twenty Years, No. 10.


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

Vessels of this form and type were made in the 4th C.AD most probably from Eastern Mediterranean workshops



Posted in Uncategorized by Allaire Collection of Glass on November 15, 2018


The Augustinus Collection of Ancient Glass



VICTORY BEAKER 1st. Century A.D. Harden group: K.1.iii Syro-Palestinian, probably made in Sidon


­­Size: ↑ 7.0-7.1 cm | Ø Body: 6.1 cm | Ø Rim: 6.3-6.46 cm | Ø Base facet: 6.2cm |     Thickness rim: 0.15 cm, body max. 0.20 cm | Weight: 37 g. |

 Technique: Blown into a two-part mould with two vertical sections (MCTVII) and separate base plate; vertical mold seams from rim to base through palm leaves. Rim cut off and unworked, slightly out-splayed.

Description: Cylindrical cup of translucent manganese colored glass, with mold-blown inscription, two diametrical opposed palm fronds and six schematic wreaths.

The body with three registers divided by horizontal ribs, the upper and lower each with six stylized wreaths, consisting of two concentric circles joined by radial lines. The central register with a Greek  text: ΛABE THN  NEIKHN, meaning: ‘Seize the Victory’, the N formed backwards as can be seen on many of the existing examples in this group.

Base flat with a barely perceptible sunken dot in the center surrounded by a slightly raised ring.

Condition: Thin glass (0.15-0.20 cm) with one hardly visible crack. Two very small chips and one larger broken off from the rim. Mold-relief medium crisp. Sand encrusted on the inside and outside, with faint weathering and iridescent film on the side and base.


1. Donald B. Harden distinguishes, in his article in the Journal of Roman Studies, 19351, three sub-types of cylindrical Victory Beakers, following his description the example in the Augustinus Collection can be attributed to group K1iii, with the exception that the letter B is connected to the ridges above and under the inscription and that no knotted ends are visible below each of the six wreaths, which is remarkable and makes this example possibly unique  and  belonging to a different category.

2. E. Marianne Stern elaborately describes the Victory Cups in the collection of The Toledo Museum of Art. She suggests in Roman Mold-blown Glass 2, (1995), page. 98, concerning cup no 2, ‘Seize the victory’ : ‘the motto probably refers to drinking contests’ and that ‘distribution patterns of the Victory Cups between the Syro-Palestinian coast, Cyprus, Greece and Sardinia recalls that of bulbous cups, products of Sidonia workshops such as Ennion and Aristides

3. David Whitehouse remarks in the catalogue of The Corning Museum of Glass3: “Beakers inscribed: ‘LABE THN/NEIKHN’ are fairly common and this (the one in the museum) is an example of the commonest type, in which the inscription is written in a single line.’ He also brings up: ‘Two variants occur: one with the letter N of THN formed correctly and the other with a backward N.’ Whether examples with the N placed in normal position form  a minority or not, has not become clear.

Provenance: From a private dutch collection, first publication.

Reference: Metropolitan Museum of Art New York, Harden 1944-5, p.94. Yale University Art Gallery, Matheson 1980, p.53, no 134. The Toledo Museum of Art, Stern 1995, pp 99-100, no 4 and no 3.Corning Museum of Glass, Whitehouse 2001, vol. 2, no 491, p.26.


  • Donald B. Harden, Journal of Roman Studies 25, 1935, Romano-Syrian Glasses with Mold-blown Inscriptions.163-186
  • Marianne Stern, 1995, Roman Mold-blown Glass, ISBN 88-7062-916-3
  • David Whitehouse, 2001, Roman Glass in the Corning Museum of Glass, NY, SBN 0-87290-5


Posted in Uncategorized by Allaire Collection of Glass on November 11, 2018


A Trulla (Latin) is a pan with a long horizontal handle.  Vessels of this type, made of both metal and glass, were widely used Roman world during the 1st century AD.  It has been suggested they were used for drinking, serving liquids in ritual ceremonies or perhaps even bathing.


The following links are for addition information on some of the above Trullae

3.4.  5.  6.  7. 8.  9.

The authenticity of this last vessel may be questionable.  It appears to be a composite of a 4th century Egyptian bowl with a handle of a Trulla applied at a later time.

Google Images


Posted in Uncategorized by Allaire Collection of Glass on November 7, 2018

Today, we think of architects as people who design buildings, construct skylines, and help create the visual identities of our cities and towns. But at the turn of the 20th century, a group of progressive architects also designed all aspects of interior decoration.  They rejected mass-produced objects that simply imitated older styles, believing their role was to seamlessly integrate craftsmanship and modern design into daily life.  Glass, furniture, Ceramics, textiles, books, fashion  accessories, and even silverware played an important role in completing this new artistic vision.

Glass Provided opportunities to explore modern aesthetics. Building on existing traditions of glassmaking and leveraging networks of technical and design schools across Central Europe, this new aesthetic in glass was promoted on a global scale at exhibitions and by manufactures and retailers.  Austrian glass from 1900 to 1937 emerged from a confluence of ideas, individuals, and cultures, capturing a spirit of modernity.

This is the opening statement from a new show call:  “Glass of the Architects“(active link)  at the Corning Museum of Glass.  This post does not do justice to this excellent new exhibition.  It is must see show.


Roman Glass Marbled Pear Shaped Bottle

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

54R Allaire Collection (active link)

Date: First Century Height: 5.6 cm


This beautiful flask is made of cobalt blue and opaque white glass made to imitate marble. The form is pear shaped.


Ref: The Newark Museum,(active link) picture# 49 in Auth-Ancient Glass at the Newark Museum, Susan Auth, 1976

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