Ancient Glass Blog of The Allaire Collection

The Victoria and Albert Museum

Posted in Uncategorized by Allaire Collection of Glass on February 27, 2019

The Victoria and Albert Museum, in London

V&A Museum's Foyer with a Dale Chihuly glass sculpture in the center

V&A Museum’s Foyer with a Dale Chihuly glass sculpture in the center

 

The Victoria and Albert Museum, London, is the world’s largest museum of decorative arts and design, housing a permanent collection of over 4.5 million objects. It was founded in 1852 and named after Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. The glass collection covers 4000 years of glass making, and has over 6000 items from Africa, Britain, Europe, America and Asia. The earliest glassware on display comes from Ancient Egypt and continues through the Ancient Roman, Medieval, and Renaissance covering areas such as Venetian glass and Bohemian glass and more recent periods, including Art Nouveau glass by Louis Comfort Tiffany and Émile Gallé. The Art Deco style is represented by several examples by René Lalique. There are many examples of crystal chandeliers displayed in the British and Venetian galleries attributed to Giuseppe Briati dated c1750. The stained glass collection is possibly the finest in the world, covering the medieval to modern periods, with examples from Europe as well as Britain. Several examples of English 16th-century heraldic glass are displayed in the British Galleries. Many well-known designers of stained glass are represented in the collection including, from the 19th century: Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Edward Burne-Jones and William Morris. There is also an example of Frank Lloyd Wright’s work in the collection and other 20th-century designers. Most of the glass pictures below are from the museum’s own web site.

The collection of glass at the V&A is one of the finest and varied in the world. A must see.

THIS IS OUR GLASS STUDY GALLERY

Posted in Uncategorized by Allaire Collection of Glass on February 21, 2019

This is the glass study gallery for our main site Ancient Glass Blog of The Allaire Collection. It is for people who are interested in going deeper into the study of the great collections of ancient and other antique glass found in museums.  This study gallery is thumbnail photographs taken of glass on public view both in the USA and abroad. Click on the list of collections below to go to these pages.

**GLASS AT THE GETTY VILLA IN MALIBU

** THE METROPOLITAN MUSEUM OF ART, GLASS IN THE AMERICAN WING

** THE METROPOLITAN MUSEUM’S ROMAN GLASS COLLECTIONS 2010

**GLASS at THE TOLEDO MUSEUM OF ART

**GLASS at THE MUSEUM of ANTIQUITIES in ROUEN FRANCE

**GLASS AT MUSÉE DES ARTS DÉCORATIFS IN PARIS FRANCE

** FRENCH, VENETIAN AND FACON DE VENISE GLASS AT THE LOUVRE

**ROMAN GLASS AT THE LOUVRE

** GLASS AT ST GERMAIN, ARCHEOLOGICAL MUSEUM

** NATIONAL MUSEUM OF THE RENAISSANCE IN FRANCE

** THE MUSEUM OF ART AND HISTORY IN SAINT-DENIS, FRANCE

** GLASS AT MUSEE DE PICARDIE (AMIENS)

**THE NEW YORK HISTORICAL SOCIETY

**CORNING MUSEUM OF GLASS STUDY GALLERY

**THE ROMAN-GERMANIC MUSEUM IN COLOGNE

**1785-1858 A PIECE OF EUROPEAN AND AMERICAN HISTORY AS SEEN THROUGH GLASS

**JAMES PETER ALLAIRE

Below is a link to additional glass collections and exhibitions on this web site

4. MUSEUMS GLASS COLLECTIONS AND EXHIBITIONS

FOUR PERSIAN GLASS UNGUENTARIA

Posted in Uncategorized by Allaire Collection of Glass on February 18, 2019

FOUR PERSIAN GLASS UNGUENTARIA

OF The Augustinus Collection of Ancient Glass

Name FOUR PERSIAN GLASS UNGUENTARIA also called: ‘MOLAR FLASKS’

Date: of Islamic era, 9th.-10th. Century A.D.

From:Mesopotamia, Persia, possibly from Fustat, Egypt*

Size: left to right:

a. ↑ 5.51 cm | Ø body: 1.71 cm | Ø mouth : 1.11 cm | Ø base: 1.55 cm| w: 19 g |

b.↑ 6.29 cm | Ø body: 2.19 cm | Ø mouth : 1.32 cm | Ø base: 1.69 cm| w: 19 g |

c. ↑ 5.65 cm | Ø body: 2.09 cm | Ø mouth : 1.05 cm | Ø base: 1.85cm| w: 23 g |

d. ↑ 7.35 cm | Ø body: 2.29 cm | Ø mouth : 1.55 cm | Ø base: 1.90cm| w: 20 g |

 Technique: All four bottles cast as solid blocks of glass, drilled out, then cut with a grinding wheel and polished to form a container or unguentarium for precious perfume or scented oil.

Description: Four bottles of light green glass, that all have square, four sided bodies with hexagonal necks, three of them with four tapering or pyramid-shaped feet at each corner. Decorations on neck and bodies, each with different triangle- and square formed plastic elements, created with a grinding wheel. Glasses a, b and d have tapering necks from the rim towards the body. All four rims are plain.

Condition: In fairly good condition, but weathered, glasses  b and d bear heavy, colorfull iridescence; unguentarium c has lost its feet all together.

Remarks:  Two of the small bottles were carved from green glass, the other two possibly also; cut in a popular shape for cosmetic containers used in medieval Egypt, commonly in modern times referred to as ‘molar flasks’, for the vessels shape is thought to resemble a tooth. The four feet function as a pedestal to the flasks, that could have contained cosmetic unguent and perfume or possibly kohl for eyelining.

  1. S. Auth remarks about the example in the Newark Museum (50.1814), that ‘from their shape, they were probably made as imitations of rock crystal’. The pale green colour of two of the four presented in the Augustinus collection, do resemble crystal indeed or at least chiselled translucent rockstone.

* C.J. Lamm describes in his Glass from Iran (1929/1930/1935), that the ‘molar flasks’ were produced in Egypt because of Egypts renown skills for cutting crystal rock. S. Auth and D. Whitehouse think this idea to be doubtfull, because most of the examples brought to light come from places spread throughout medieval Persia, several from a period of time earlier than the 9th. century A.D.

Provenance: From a private dutch collection; previously unpublished.

Reference: Kelsey Museum of Archeology, 1968.2.13; Corning Museum of Glass: Glass of the Sultans, gift of the Fustat Expedition no: 69.1.42.; Kerstner-Museum Hannover, 1982, no: 156; Fremersdorf, cat. of the Vatikan, no: 912f; La Baume, coll. Loeffler no: 2015.

Literature: C.J.Lamm, Glass from Iran, 1935; Carboni and Whitehouse, Glass of the Sultans , 2001; Fustat Glass of the Early Islamic Period, 2001; Islamic Glass in the Corning Museum of Glass. Vol. 1, 2010.

IS THE GLASS VESSEL A BEAKER, BOTTLE, BOWL, FLASK, OR CUP ?

Posted in Uncategorized by Allaire Collection of Glass on February 15, 2019

A universally accepted terminology of ancient glass shapes does not exist.  So wrote E. Marianne Stern in the book Roman, Byzantine, and Early Medieval Glass, Ernesto Wolf Collection 10 BCE-700 CE, publishers Hatje Cantz, 2001. The rest of this post is based on this book and Stern’s writing.

In the following post of terminology, Greek and Latin names are used sparingly. Where possible, an English name is preferred and the terminology is followed by a picture or pictures illustrating the term.

 

Amphora: A special form of jug with two handles.

MINIATURE AMPHORA of Hans van Rossum

 

Aryballos: A bath bottle for cleansing oil.

 

Askos: A vessel imitating the shape of a wine-skin.

ROMAN ASKOS of Nico F. Bijnsdorp

 

Beaker: An open-shaped vessel that is taller than it is wide.  Usually, but not always a drinking vessel.

Bottle: A sizable vessel with a neck, with or without handles.  The mouth is usually made so it can be closed tightly.  The body can be barrel-shaped, cylindrical, spherical, square, or prismatic.  Usually for storage and transport; sometimes for serving liquids at the table.  Special shapes are, Frontinus bottle, Lenticular bottle, Spouted bottle. Small bottles are called unguentaria.

Bowl: An open-shaped vessel that is wider than it is tall. Usually for serving or presenting food, sometimes for drinking; in the East also for lighting.  Special shapes include Zarte Rippenschale.

Cone: An open conical vessel ending in a point. Usually used in the West for drinking and in the East for lighting.

Cup: An open-shaped vessel that is about as tall as it is wide. Usually for drinking, but sometimes lidded and used as a jar.  Special shapes include goblet, Hofheium cup, modiolus.

Dish: A flat or shallow bowl.  Usually for serving or presenting food.

Flask:  A vessel with a neck but without handles. The mouth is usually not made for closing.  The body is usually bulbous. Usually tableware, for serving liquids.

Goblet: A stemmed, footed cup.  Usually used for drinking.  In Eastern Mediterranean commonly used as an oil lamp with a floating wick.

Jar: Two types of jars 1 and 2.

(1) A vessel with a wide rim but without neck.  The body can be bulbous or square. Usually for storage of foods. Special shapes include: urn.

(2) The commonest form of the Eastern Mediterranean jar has a funnel neck which is actually a tall, flaring mouth.  The body is usually bulbous, less frequently cylindrical: it can have functional handles, multiple decorative handles or a pattern trailing attached to the rim.  These jars were probably tableware for serving foods.

 

 

Jug: An elaborate flask usually with handle. The mouth can be round, trefoil or spouted. Usually for serving wine or other liquids at the table. Special shapes include: amphora see top of this page.

Kohl tube: A tubular container for kohl, a black eye paint used widely in Egypt, Syria, and Palestine.

Lenticular bottle: A bottle with flattened section.

Modiolus: A one-handled cup.

Modiolus From The Windmill Collection of Roman Glass

Sprinkler:  Any vessel with an internal diaphragm at the base of the neck

 

Urn: A burial jar for cremation ashes which may be lidded. The body is usually bulbous.  Many burial urns have two heavy coil handles, often M-shaped.

ENGLISH GLASS BOTTLE WITH RASPBERRY PRUNTS

Posted in Uncategorized by Allaire Collection of Glass on February 14, 2019

(99E) English Glass Bottle with Raspberry Prunt H: 11.2 cm, D: 1690

 

This is a colorless gourd-shape flask decorated with gadrooning on the bottom and a raspberry prunt centered on each side. A similar glass vessel is in the Batchelor collection at The Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge and was on display from December 2018 to March 3, 2019.

 

 

 

ROMAN WHEEL-CUT GLASS FLASK

Posted in Uncategorized by Allaire Collection of Glass on February 12, 2019

(10R) Wheel-Cut Bottle of Allaire Collection

Date: First Century Size: H: 12.5 cm

Description: A large flask in a bluish pale color has a globular body with a flattened base.  The straight cylindrical neck ends with a small outward-folded collar rim. The body is decorated with five wheel-cut bands of alternating widths.  A thin layer of iridescence is scattered over the piece. A tiny strain crack appears inside the neck, otherwise it is intact.  The bottle is from Italy.

Ref: Scatozza Horicht 1986, pp. 56-57, nos. 125-126, from Herculaneum, not later than A.D 79, Hayes 1975, p. 58, no. 144 published a similar bottle of unknown provenance and noted a parallel from a Neronian or Vespasianic grave at Histria Alexandrescu 1966, p. 219, pl. 101. Constable-Maxwell Collection 1979, p. 77, no. 125 may belong to this group, although it was catalogued with a later date.

Comment: The flask belongs to a group of globular bottles with cylindrical necks and plain or collar like rims, which are decorated with parallel and / or intersection circles or combinations of circles and other motifs. The size varies. The bottles may be divided into at least three subgroups.  Vessels in the first subgroup have collar like rims and decorated on the wall with continuous broad, horizontal wheel-cut bands; they were present in Italy in the first century A.D. example Allaire Collection 10R above.

The second subgroup also consists of bottles with collar like rims, but in this case the horizontal groves are accompanied by upright circles and inclined great circles. The example below of the second subgroup is in Corning Museum of Glass #433. Formerly in the Smith Collection # 1404.  Dated 3rd to 4th century and may have been made in the eastern Mediterranean. Reference for this comment is from Roman Glass in The Corning Museum of Glass Volume One page 253 #433

#433 Bottle The Corning Museum of Glass 3-4th C.

The third and largest subgroup come from sites in the Rhineland, and it consists of bottles with plain rims. The decoration is more varied than in either of the other subgroups. It includes animals and flower-like motifs along with shorter necks and plain rims. The walls are decorated with continuous horizontal grooves intersecting with great circles, and on the bottom with a quadruped. Below is an example of this type

Wheel cut bottle in The J. Paul Getty Museum (Getty Villa) 3-4th C.

 

 

 

ROMAN GLASS BEAKER FROM THE RHINELAND

Posted in Uncategorized by Allaire Collection of Glass on February 10, 2019

 

 ROMAN GLASS BEAKER of  The Augustinus Collection of Ancient Glass

Date: 4-6th C Size: ↑ 9.4 cm | Ø Mouth : 10.3 cm | Ø Base: 5.3cm | Weight: 143 g |

A Kisa: form 380, Gallo-Roman era

Technique: Probably blown into a mold, rim knocked off and slightly polished, wheel engraved line

Description: Translucent white to yellow-green, rather thin, glass, weathered and with golden irisation on the inside and outside, sand encrusted; two wheel-engraved lines, one at 0.41 cm from the mouth, second one at 3.44 cm from below; bottom indented to create a standing ring; with traces of a possible pontil mark.

Condition: Delivered in complete and uncleaned condition, with no cracks, but sand encrusted and with a very fine layer of a golden irisation allover.

Remarks: A close parallel is a beaker from the collection of Louis Gabriel Bellon (1819-1899) inventory number 575*, height 8 cm, with a similar shape and mouth, also translucent in color and with wheel-engraved lines.

Fremersdorf presents in Die Farblose Glaeser der Fruehzeit in Koeln (1957) a beaker with a height of 12,5 cm and a diameter at the mouth of 11,8 cm, wheel cut lines and a form of shape of the cup ending almost straight at the mouth, as is the case with the example in the Augustinus collection.

Susan H. Auth states in Ancient Glass at the Newark Museum about a colorless – blue green cup, (50.1873) of the 3rd. century and found in Cologne: ‘probably the simplest shape of drinking vessel with flattened base and knocked off rim, that could have been quickly produced by Roman glass shops’. However she does not mention the possibility of blowing the beakers into a mold. Isings describes in Roman Glass from dated finds (1957) similar cups from the third century, but with slightly outsplayed rim, as does the french writer Sennequier in Verreries Antiques, where profile drawings of the cups and beakers of the Gallo-Roman era do variate at the mouth from widely outsplayed to almost straight.

Reference: *Collection of L.G. Bellon, sale-catalogue 2009, no 205.

Kisa, slight variation in form to no: 380; Fremersdorf, 1957, vol. XIX, p. 7, inv. No 6004; Isings variation to form: 29, 3rd. c. A.D.;  Auth, 1976, Ancient Glass at the Newark Museum nr. 50.1873  Goethert-Polaschek, 1977, 72, nr 302, Taf. 42; Sennequier, Verreries Antiques, no 298, p 110-112.

Provenance: From a private dutch collection, previously unpublished;

FAÇON DE VENISE TUSCAN WINE GLASS

Posted in Uncategorized by Allaire Collection of Glass on February 8, 2019

(122E) Allaire Collection Tuscan Wine Glass

Description:The glass has a bucket bowl with rounded base with gadrooning (messa stampaura) of twelve ribs.  Around the bowl a colorless thread is wound seven times. The hollow stem consists of two hollow knops with a straight part in between called a spool stem.  Conical foot with folded rim.

Material: Cristallo or vitrum blanchum, Height: 12.6 cm, Diameter of bowl 7.0 cm, Diameter of foot 7.1 cm,

Date: End of the Sixteenth Century, Origin: Tuscany/Venice

Parallels: Fragili Trasparenze: Vetri Antichi in Toscana, Anna Laghi 1990, P. 4, 51 (plain bowl), Elisabeth & Theo Zandbergen glass collection,  Example 20 seen below.

Example 20

COLORS OF ROMAN GLASS VESSELS

Posted in Uncategorized by Allaire Collection of Glass on February 6, 2019

Glassmakers during the Roman period had an impressive array of colors to use to make their glass vessels. Describing these colors can be difficult.  Colors of glass can appear as different shades depending on the surrounding light, shape, thickness, chemical composition and opacity of the glass vessel.  The glass made in Roman times had naturally occurring metal ions giving the vessel a greenish, straw or brownish color depending on the source of the raw materials.  However, the glassmakers knew how to decolorize the glass or add other metal oxide to make all of the colors found in Roman vessels.  As styles and taste changed over the centuries during the Roman Empire so did the general color of their glass.  These color changes give some indication of when these glasses were made and where. These patterns are vague with many exceptions.  Colors used to make Roman glass are Brown, Aqua (bluish-green), Amber, Aubergene, Blue, Green, Yellow, Straw, Olive green, Red, Black, White and Colorless.  Also, with each color the modifier such as pale or dark is used to describe shade of color.

 

The following vessels are arranged by centuries

First Century

 

First to Second Century

Second to Third Century

Third to Fourth Century

Fourth to Fifth Century Late Roman

MEROVINGIAN BEAKER WITH FESTOONS

Posted in Uncategorized by Allaire Collection of Glass on February 3, 2019

124E Allaire Collection Merovingian beaker

 

Description: Deep bluish-green glass beaker was shaped by blowing into  an open mold.  The decoration features self-trails applied and tooled into a festoon pattern, a common design used on glass vessels of the Migration Period.  At the rim a slight flare is present with a cracked-off edge. Intact, some weathering.

Date: 5th C. AD

Size: H 9.1 cm, D 9.5 cm

Published: Christie’s, June 8th 2012 Lot#143

Ref: Bomford Collection #127, Christie’s Dec. 5th, 2012 Lot# 185, Glass 500BC to AD1900, Hans Cohn Collection #111, Memoires de Verre #67, and #68

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