Ancient Glass Blog of The Allaire Collection


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

One Response

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  1. theozandbergen said, on February 6, 2019 at 5:43 am


    That’s a great comprehensive posting. Must have taken quite some time to get this all together. Another round of applause from our side.

    kind regards to you and Carole from us, theo


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