Ancient Glass Blog of The Allaire Collection


Posted in Uncategorized by Allaire Collection of Glass on March 30, 2019


Second half of 1st century AD | Western part of the Roman Empire, probably Italy or Gaul

Size: ↑10.1 cm | ø 11.2 cm | Weight 82 g

Technique: Pattern-blown, handle applied

Classification: Isings 1957 form 37 | Morin-Jean 1977, form 93b

Description: Transparent pale olive green glass. Large straight-walled beaker with a truncated conical and wrythen-molded body, wide mouth with rim folded outward. Strap-handle attached to the upper body. Pushed-in ring base, kicked-in to form a distinctive knob in the center with pontil mark. The direction of the ribs, curving clockwise instead of counterclockwise, as is usual, suggests the mug was the work of a left-handed glass worker.

Condition: Intact, a thin creamy layer of weathering; a hairline-crack at the base

Remarks: ‘Modiolus’ is the diminutive form of the word ‘modius’, which is a grain-measure in Roman times, the equivalent of sixteen sextarii. The sextarius in liquid form was just under one pint. Since glass examples vary so much in size, however, their function is not certain. Auth says that is it more likely that modioli, the plural of modiolus, were drinking vessels or perhaps beer mugs. (Auth 1976). On the other hand, it is hard to drink from a modiolus because the ledge near the rim of many glass modioli which makes themselves unsuitable for drinking or pouring a fluid. A modiolus with wrythen-molded body is rare but when it is done by a left-handed glass worker it makes this modiolus extremely rare.

Provenance: ex-private collection USA 10 May 2004

Reference: The Constable-Maxwell Collection of Ancient Glass, no. 142, different rim Antike Gläser, M. Boosen no. 51 Histoire du Verre l´Antiquité, F. Slitine p. 133, different rim Les Verres Antiques du Musée du Louvre II, V. Arveiller-Dulong & M.D. Nenna no. 32 Boisgirard Maison de Vente aux enchéres Archéologie d´Orient et Art de l´Islam, 4 Juin 2010, lot 17Archaeological Center Tel Aviv, auction 37, 17 April 2006 lot 154


Posted in Uncategorized by Allaire Collection of Glass on March 28, 2019


Philippart, Fragil Transparencia Vidrios espanoles de los siglos XVI a XVIII, Jean-Paul Philippart 2011


This is a beautifully illustrated book on the variety of creative styles of glass in 16th,17th and 18th c. from Spain.  Below are few picture of glass from this book.


Catalunia region is in northeastern Spain has been an historical glass center from Roman times


Andalusia is an autonomous community in southern Spain. This historical glass center was under Moorish rule, (The term “Moors” refers primarily to the Muslim inhabitants of the Maghreb)  from the 8th-15th centuries, a legacy that shows in its architecture as well as the glass. Spanish glass in general has a similar look to Islamic glass.


Castilla is the historic region of northwestern Spain and is another historical glass center.

Additional information can be found at Spanish Glass.

Roman Glass Beaker with Iridescence

Posted in Uncategorized by Allaire Collection of Glass on March 26, 2019

 02R Roman Beaker With Wheel-cut Lines of Allaire Collection

Remark: The simple shape of this vessel resembles our modern drinking glasses. It is pale blue/green with iridescence. The exterior is decorated with faint wheel cut bands: three parallel lines around the center, one band near the base. This beaker has a ground rim and flattened base. The  beauty of this cup is in the natural iridescence which has formed on it.  Beaker is intact. 

Date: First Century A.D. H: 9.3 cm. Rim D: 6.5 cm. Cf. Auth 1976 #368 (The Newark Museum)

Iridescent Glass

Iris, the Greek goddess of the rainbow, lends her name to the word iridescence a lustrous, rainbow-like play of color. Iridescence was admired by modern glassmakers but was not an intentional effect made by ancient artisans. The effect was found on pieces of ancient glass where burial conditions caused alkali (soluble salt) to leach from the glass and form layers that eventually separate and flake off. The remaining surface layers reflect light differently, resulting in an iridescent appearance.  WHAT IS THE IRIDESCENCE ON ANCIENT GLASS ?


Posted in Uncategorized by Allaire Collection of Glass on March 24, 2019

84E French Facon de Venise Wine Goblet 17th Century

84E Facon de Venise Wine Glass of Allaire Collection


Remarks: This is an early 17th century Facon de Venise goblet from France in a classic shape. The glass has a trumpet-shape bowl with a broad mouth a hollow knop and inverted baluster stem on a flat circular foot.

Stem definition: hollow knop and inverted baluster (for more stems definitions follow this link)

condition: excellent

H: 16.5 cm, D:  10.4 cm

Date: Early 17th Century

Ref: Rijksmuseum #15, Christie’s Mar. 2000 #139


Posted in Uncategorized by Allaire Collection of Glass on March 22, 2019

10E on the left is the French baluster        20E on the right is the English baluster


10E French Wine Glass of Allaire Collection

This French wine glass has a bucket bowl, stem with large bladed or angular knop and high folded foot. Made of soda glass

Height : 13½ cm, Weight: 84.5 g, Date: later part of 18th C,  Reference: Gros & Delettrez 2006 Lot 175


20E English Baluster of Allaire Collection

This is a wine glass with bucket bowl on inverted baluster and base knop, with folded foot. Made of lead glass.  Baluster Wines are a large group of beautiful and well designed glasses.

Date: 1720, Height: 5 ¼ inches (6,25 cm), Weight: 194 g, Reference: Bickerton # 59, Regency # 25



Posted in Uncategorized by Allaire Collection of Glass on March 20, 2019

89E Facon de Venise Trick Goblet of Allaire Collection


The goblet has a double-walled bowl on a narrowing stem applied with a pincered collar. The glass has a grayish-lilac tint. It is called a trick glass because the inside bowl can be filled with wine through a small hole in the stem; the hole is then plugged with wax. A person could seem to drink all night without the glass becoming empty.  Or a person could go up to someone and pretend to spill it and nothing would happen.  A similar trick glass is known from the 4th Century of the Roman period. 

Dimensions: H = 13.1 cm, Stem H = 7 cm, Weight = 75 g

Origin & Date: Venice or Tuscany, 17th century.

Ref: The Collection Engels-De Lange, Lameris 2015 p. 81 #50, Christie’s March 28, 2000 # 140 & May 2007 #21, Sothby’s June 16, 1984 #73 & Dec. 18, 2002 #6&7, Rijksmuseum, #155, 156, Lameris, 1991 # 111, “Glass from the Ancient World: the Ray Winfield Smith Collection”, Corning 1957, #241

Also see another type of trick glass:




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


Posted in Uncategorized by Allaire Collection of Glass on March 16, 2019

Roemers (Dutch) or Römer (German) are a type of wine and beer glass that evolved in the Rhineland and the Netherlands from the 17th Century.  They have their roots in the Waldglas particularly the Berkemeyer, Krautstrunk and Nuppenbecher of the later Middle Ages which were produced in northern Germany, the Low Countries and central Europe.  The Roemer style glass is still being produced today.

The forerunners of the Roemer were made in the 15th C as short beakers with a conical shaped bowl attached to an open stem decorated with pulled drops or prunts.  These are called Berkemeyers. Over time the glass on these vessels became thinner and the bowls developed into a hemispherical shape on a wider hollow base decorated with pulled or flatten prunts.  In the early 16th C this truly became an early Roemer when a foot was added formed by a trailed thread wound round a conical core.

The following examples are all from the Allaire Collection and are arranged more or less in chronological order. Things to look for in these examples are: bowl shapes, stems open or solid, prunts pulled, flatten or raspberry, engraving, and finally the type of foot. Below these pictures there are additional notes taken from Henkes-Glass Without Gloss, Utility glass from five Centuries excavated in the low countries 1300-1800. Harold E. Henkes, 1994 on factors on how to determent the age of a roemer.


Spanish Cantir with White Trails from Catalonia

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

44E Cantir with Filigrana from Catalonia of Allaire Collection


Cantir of yellowish glass decorated with opaque white trails called vetro a fili. Glassmakers in Catalonia, Spain were producing decoration of this type from the middle of the 16th into the 17th Century.

H: 19 1/2 cm

D: 2nd half of 16th to early 17th Century


Posted in Uncategorized by Allaire Collection of Glass on March 11, 2019

The Allard Pierson Museum is the archaeological museum of the University of Amsterdam, NL.  Artifacts from the ancient civilizations of ancient Egypt, the Near East, the Greek World, Etruria, and the Roman Empire are all curated and exhibited in this museum. Below are examples of their large and varied ancient glass collection.

Web site for the museum is

%d bloggers like this: