Ancient Glass Blog of The Allaire Collection


Posted in Uncategorized by Allaire Collection of Glass on March 9, 2019

The objects below belong to a rare group of vessels made by casting in multipart molds by various methods, then meticulously ground and polished using lathes, abrasives, and hand tools. Some are decorated with lathe cut bands of grooves and ridges.


Posted in Uncategorized by Allaire Collection of Glass on March 7, 2019

53R Green trefoil mouth pitcher Allaire collection

This is a Roman glass pitcher with a pear-shaped body tapering into a slender neck with contrasting dark green coil.  The mouth is a trefoil shape with applied coil and the foot is tooled and splayed.

H: 12.5 cm

Fourth Century

Stern # 92, 94, Hermitage # 388 Ill. 195


Posted in Uncategorized by Allaire Collection of Glass on March 5, 2019

These types of flasks have one or two handles applied to shoulder and rim. Rim outsplayed, then turned up and in; neck tapering, splaying gently toward bottom; body circular in front elevation, egg-shaped in vertical section; base with kick.  Mold-blown decoration on body: on front and back, three concentric raised circles surrounded by rosette and raised petals; on sides, two rows of graduated circles with central bosses alternation with pairs of small bosses.  Date: 3rd to 4th century A.D. Ref: David Whitehouse Roman Glass in The Corning Museum of Glass Volume two P. 131 #638



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

Ancient Oil Lamps

Oil lamps were used by the ancient people of the Middle East, Europe, and Northern Africa to light their homes at night. They were fueled by fish oil, animal oil and fat but mainly by vegetable (olive) oil. A woven fibrous wick was placed in the hole at the tip of the lamp to burn the oil.  This group of people includes the Greeks, Romans, Jews, Early Christians, Egyptians, Muslims, Syrians, North Africans, Celts, Gauls, Britains, and even some early Crusaders.  The time period for oil lamps is approximately from 300 BC through 900 AD.  Generally they are thought of as Roman or early Islamic oil lamps.

The examples here are earthenware ceramic or clay lamps.  Oil lamps were also made in various metals and in glass.  The traditional Roman technique for making clay lamps was to press the raw clay into gypsum molds.  The two halves of the lamp were put together and the two holes were made. The green ware was then trimmed by hand using small metal tools and then fired in an oven.  More expensive oil lamps had glazes applied in the firing step.

Allaire Collection of Oil Lamps


David Giles Collection of  Roman Oil Lamps


Posted in Uncategorized by Allaire Collection of Glass on March 1, 2019

                                      From the book, Romische Glaskunst und Wandmalerei

This type of Roman tall pitcher or jug is biconical with an outsplayed rim and rounded neck which expands to merge with body. The base consists of a thick trail coiled around the bottom of the wall and pushed in at the center.  The main characteristic of this jug is the chain handle. The handle is formed from two parallel bands or trails applied to the upper wall, drawn up, and pinched together four or five times to form vertical rows of loop-like elements; trails are then bent over and drawn up, over, down, and up again to form elaborate attachment to rim. The date range for chain handle pitchers is 3rd to early 4th century.

Variations on chain handle jug

Drawing of a grave site in France showing three chain handle pitchers

From the book, Romische Glaskunst und Wandmalerei

The Meropolitan Art Museum chain handle jug, looks like one in drawing.

%d bloggers like this: