Ancient Glass Blog of The Allaire Collection


Posted in Uncategorized by Allaire Collection of Glass on November 29, 2019

AMPHORA of Hans van Rossum

Date: 1st century AD | Eastern Mediterranean; Syria-Palestine

Size: ↑9.3 cm | 6.2 ø  cm | Weight  44 g

Technique: Free blown, handles applied

Condition: Intact and a perfect condition

Description: Transparent cobalt blue glass, pear-shaped body, long cylindrical neck with constriction at the base. Rim folded outward and inward. Two bifurcated handles of light blue opaque glass applied to the shoulder, drawn up, folded down and attached to upper part of neck, just below rim. Slightly indented base, no pontil.

Remarks: This gorgeous small amphora is exceptional because of the shape, in combination with the cobalt blue color of the body and the light blue opaque color of the handles.

Provenance: Mr. David and Mrs. Jennifer Giles, London (2002-2019) Christopher Sheppard, London 21th June 2002 Ex collection Jill Dilliston, Paris – collection number 61. Jill was an assistant of Chris Sheppard in the 1970’s-1980’s.

Reference: A good parallel couldn’t be found Ancient Glass and various Antiquities in the Frits Lugt Collection, R. B. Halbertsma no. 35 for a similar example but with a spherical body – H = 8.3 cm Christie’s London, auction Antiquities 1 October 2015 lot no. 185 – H = 7.0 cm Gorny & Mosch Munich, Auktion Kunst der Antike no. 227, 17. Dezember 2014 lot                             no. 113 for a similar example but with a spherical body – H = 6.8 cm Gläser der Antike, Sammlung Oppenländer, A. von Saldern no. 542 for a similar example but with a spherical body – H = 8.0 cm Sotheby Parke Bernet Inc, 14 December 1978 lot   no. 34 for a similar example but with a spherical body – H = 8.1 cm


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



The Augustinus Collection of Ancient Glass

Photo: AcoaG.63

 Date: Late III – IV century A.D. Form:  Kisa:  F364  |  Moirin Jean: 73

Size: ↑9.8 cm | Ø body:10.4 cm | Ø Mouth : 7.9 cm | Ø Base max: 6.2cm| Weight: 124.8 g


AcoaG 63.a – g | Roman Glass Bowl with hunting scene. Illustrations by AcoaG 2019.


Description: Spherical bottle with wide, low neck of translucent glass with a greenish to golden-yellow tint; skillfully engraved hunter with bow and four animals in bush like scenery. A male or female hunter, dressed in tunic and boots, holds a bow in the left hand directed to four animals; the right hand is pointed upwards as if an arrow has just been released towards: 1. a doe looking backwards to the hunter, 2. a stag grazing and in no hurry, 3. and 4. two stags running to the right; all decorated with clumps of foliage resembling palmettos.

Photo of bottom of jar AcoaG.63


Technique: Blown, cut off rim  and with an abraded pontilmark as a centrepiece turned into a stylized flower with 10 petals on the bottom; skillfully engraved in one line of thickness, as it is for the total of the depicted scenery.


Condition: Complete, with pieces broken off from the rim. One crack, leading from the figure holding the bow to the rim. Few small and some larger bubbles all over the glass. Weathered and iridescent, sand encrusted, almost impossible to look through and experience the well executed scenery of a mythological and literary background.


Remarks: In comparison to a jar with hunting scene in the Corning Museum of Glass, New York (Smith Collection: Accession Number 55.1.1) the line of cutting is of one thickness, where the Corning depiction seems to be a combination of a wide and narrow line. There can be no doubt that both jars originate from the same workshop, for the style in technique and representation comes extremely close.


Corning Jar 55.1.1

2. No bottom line is depicted, nor is there any form of text underneath the rim, as is the case with the jar in the Corning Museum of Glass. The Corning jar shows 16 petals around an abraded pontil mark. – The rosette may be compared with that found on the bottom of the San Marco bucket (Harden and Whitehouse) -.


3. On the so called:Bowl from Leuna’, appear the names of Artemis and Actaion in retrograde Greek writing. The action and way of dressing are described in such a way that the style of engraving helps to detect the figure on the bowl of the Corning as: Artemis. Both are examples of a Hunting Scene, from the second half of the second century A.D. (From a grave at Leuna, former German Democratic Republic. Glass of the Caesars, 1997, pp 197-198, no 107.)


4. On the fragments of another glass bowl from Dura-Europos – on the Euphrates, (Clairmont, 1963, 57-9, no 235, pl. XXIV) – the bath of the virgin Artemis is favoured, added the scenes of Actaeons death.


5. It must be remembered that the decoration was originally meant to be seen through the inside of the bowl, according to D.B.Harden in Glass of the Caesars. This explains why the inscriptions are engraved in reverse on the outside. But with the jar from The Corning Museum of Glass this is not the case.


Provenance: From a private dutch collection, previously unpublished; likely from Rhenish or North-Italian origin, following the descriptions by Ray W. Smith (1957), Donald B. Harden (1987), David Whitehouse (1997).


R.W. Smith, Glass from the Ancient World, 1957, pp 177-179, no. 358.

Fremersdorf, Niessen Collection, 1911, pl. 28, 1967, pp. 165-166, pl. 218

D.B. Harden et D. Whitehouse et al., Glass of the Caesars, 1987, p. 207, no 115. # 457 Whitehouse, Roman Glass in the Corning Museum of Glass, 1997, Vol. I, pp 268-270, no. 457. Jar with Hunting Scene.


Posted in Uncategorized by Allaire Collection of Glass on November 23, 2019

The University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology is commonly called the Penn Museum and part of the University of Pennsylvania. It is located at 3260 South St, Philadelphia, PA 19104. The web site is Penn Museum (active link).

The size of the glass collection is about 825 objects periods covered Greek and Roman most of which is in storage. The pictures of glass below are from their permanent installation. The installation is set up in a teaching mode to explain how the mixed medium objects were used in Greek and Roman times.

Click on the pictures to enlarge and use the X in the right hand corner to come back to this page.

Case 1

Case  2

Case 3

Case 4

Throughout the museum

Midwestern Aquamarine Swirl and Club Bottles

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

These are three examples of aquamarine swirled bottles and one aquamarine club bottle.  All have twenty four molded ribs which were swirled to the left or right, probably made in Zanesville Ohio.  The difference between the two types is on the club bottle the lower sides are straight and the flat bottom is therefore wider.   They are all about eight inches high and made between 1820 and 1840 and were re-usable bar bottles.  We think the most outstanding example is 58A because of its rich color and quality of the glass.  Which is your favorite?  Let us know.

15A Aquamarine swirl bottle

29A Aquamarine Club Bottle

58A Aquamarine swirl bottle

64A Aquamarine Swirled Bottle

American Pattern-Molded Bottles and Flasks

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

American Pattern-Molded Bottles and Flasks in the Allaire Collection

American bottles and flasks with pattern-molded designs have been produced from 1765 on. This same type has been made for centuries in Europe and England. A flask is a bottle, which has been flatten so it fits into a jacket pocket and also called a pocket bottle. The pattern-molded bottles and flasks were blown from a single gather of glass, patterned in either rib molds or pattern piece-molds having a simple (diamond pattern) or more elaborate designs. The (Pitkin-type flask active link) is part of this group and made by the half-post method and ornamented by pattern-molded ribbings. Both flasks can look alike; however the Pitkin flasks has a tell-tail ring of thicker glass around the neck (post) from the second dip of the half-post method.


The examples below are from the Allaire Collection. Click on the pictures to enlarge and use the X in the right hand corner to come back to this page




Posted in Uncategorized by Allaire Collection of Glass on November 17, 2019


The Newark Museumof Art, established as the largest New Jersey museum, invites you to enjoy unforgettable experiences in the arts and natural sciences.  Take an inspirational journey through 80 galleries of world-class collections including American, Asian, African and Classical. Part of the Museum is the Ballantine House, a Victorian mansion built in 1885. The size of the glass collection is 2525 objects periods covered 1500BC to present.  Most of the ancient glass from 1500 BC Egypt through Greece, Roman and the Islamic cultures through 1200 AD. is the Eugene Schaefer collection. The American glass is located in the Ballantine House.  The Newark Museum of Art along with The Ballantine House have been recently renovated and are beautiful to walk through.

Current Exhibitions:

South Gallery, first floor, main building The Museum’s art of the ancient Mediterranean cultures—Egypt, the Near East, Greece and Rome—includes one of the finest collections of ancient glass in the nation as well as classical antiquities that illustrate … Click on the following pictures to enlarge them.



Unexpected Color: A Journey Through Glass features the Thomas N. Armstrong III Collection of Steuben Glass, recently donated to the Newark Museum. The exhibition offers a window into the science, craft, and art of this lesser-known, colorful glass that was made and used by two visionaries. Frederick Carder, co-founder and designer of Steuben Glass Works, Click on the following pictures to enlarge them.


Permanent Installations:  Glass in The Ballantine House



Additional Ancient Glass from the Eugene Schaefer collection from an older 2016 installation. Click on the following pictures to enlarge them.


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

This is a pictorial essay on what are commonly referred to as long neck jugs.  These beautiful and artfully created jugs were from the third quarter of the First Century and into the Second Century  A.D.



GLASS ARYBALLOI and the bath rituals in Roman times

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

ARYBALLOI and the bath rituals in Roman times

Author: Hans van Rossum

English rendering by: Theo Zandbergen


One should not bring the bath oils to the public baths in a glass container as these can break and cause injury. (Derekh Erezt Rabbah ~ 160 – 220 CE)

Roman Bathhouse (Thermae) in Bath (UK)

The above advice by the Jewish scholar was, probably, not so much followed. The glass container undoubtedly referred to the aryballoi. Exactly that type of container was frequently used in the Roman thermal baths. The word thermal stems from thermós, meaning warm. Thermal baths were complexes with warm and cold baths more or less like our modern sauna’s or baths. Massages were also available perhaps using the (fragrant) oils brought from home. The baths were quite important to the Romans. These were not only facilities to get rid of the dirt and grime but, also meeting points for discussions, making deals or debating politics. The baths played an important social and business role. Large complexes have been unearthed like the one in Heerlen in the Netherlands. The largest one in the Low Lands.

The aryballos was during Roman times an inseparable accoutrement for the visitors to the baths. She or he carried the aryballos from home with a small attached handle or with e.g. a bronze chain and stopper. Entering the baths one would at first go to the apodyteria, the respective changerooms for female and male visitors. The smaller baths usually had only one apodyterium and used different opening hours for females and males. The clothes were nicely stored away and the visitor went to the a caldarium. A space with a temperature of approx. 40º C. and a humidity of around 80%. Just like our nowadays sauna’s. The plunge pool was called the alveus. From there one went to the sudatorium, the sweat room. Just like our modern sauna’s. From there one could go to the tepidarium, a room with a moderate temperature. One could also see the masseur handing him the aryballos with the fragrant oils brought from home which could be applied.

The room shown above is to store the clothes nicely away and other one of the bath’s in the Thermae, complex

The masseur would disperse some sand over the oily body followed by cleansing using a strigilis, a scraper made of bronze, steel or glass to finish the cleansing process. The body got a nice smell from the applied oils. To finish off one visited the frigidarium, the cold room. There was enough time in the whole process to socialize. One would get dressed again and go her or his way. This cleansing ritual was followed for quite some centuries and ended somewhere in the 4th century CE, probably due to the influence of Christianity.

Set of two bronze strigils with carrying ring; collection Hans van Rossum. Roman Empire; 1st century AD; H = ca. 20 cm


The thermal baths, like the one in Heerlen, were often part of the Roman fortifications. Those combined facilities often lead to larger settlements and thriving communities. The presence of troops, the fortifications and the security accommodated trade and the development of agriculture and the likes thereof. During the for centuries existing baths in Coriovallum, Heerlen (active link) many a thousand aryballoi have been used by the visitors to the baths. Without a doubt many aryballoi went to pieces, as not all the visitors followed the wise words of Rabbah. However, fortunately many were saved as the happy collectors can attest. As the aryballoi had also a kind of “show-off” function all kinds of forms and shapes developed.

The story behind the aryballos


No known glass form from antiquity equals this flask other than perhaps the oinochoe, a pitcher, sometimes with a so-called cloverleaf spout. The earliest examples of aryballoi go back to the Egypt of the 18th dynasty (1550 – 1292 BCE). The term aryballos was originally used for a ceramic spherical oil jar as of the 7th century BCE. The originally Greek term kept on being used when in the Greek and Hellenistic period the jars were formed thru the glass forming technique called core forming. The description aryballos becomes a generic term for spherical formed (bath) oil containers in Roman times. However, a Roman aryballos can also get different forms and shapes, like semicircular, squat, bi-conical, or even hexagonal. In all cases these containers are called ampulla olearia, or aryballos.


Aryballos, collection Elisabeth & Theo Zandbergen. Roman Empire; second part 1st century CE; H = 7.6, D = 4.7 cm; W = 25 g


The early free blown examples come into existence in the 1st century CE from glass production centers in the Eastern Mediterranean region in the coastal areas of Syria and Palestine. These can be recognized by their relatively long necks and handles made of a glass thread in a contrasting color. As far as known there are almost no intact objects or fragments unearthed in the Syrian-Palestine region. The assumption is therefore that the mono-, bicolored and polychrome aryballoi were made for export to the other areas in the Roman empire which were dotted with thermal baths. In that early period, one should mainly think of the settlements and cities around the Dalmatian coast. That’s also the area where finds have been reported of early type aryballoi especially the polychrome ones. The same can be said for Northern Italy and the bordering areas, for Switzerland, Vindonissa and Locarno, Pompei, the Aegean area, the Crimea and other areas in Asia-Minor. From this one could conclude that in Northern Italy and neighboring regions manufacturing centers were active producing at least the polychrome variation of the early aryballoi. One could postulate that those manufacturing centers could very well have been created by Syrian immigrants during the first half of the 1st century CE. Immigration is of all times. These colorful variants were created let’s say from the years 20 to 30 of the 1st century with the summit around 50 CE. This production would rather quickly end around 70 CE.  After this period, hardly any polychrome glass was produced. That could very well have been caused by the invention of the metal blow pipe and the very much simplified methods in glass working and a form of standardization thereof. It’s also quite possible that the polychrome glass got out of fashion. Yes, all times have trends, so also in that period one could steal the show with something new like a “bling” aryballos.

Applied glass colors

Splashed aryballos, collection Hans van Rossum. Eastern Mediterranean or Italy; 1st century CE; H = 6.5, D = 4.5 cm W = 26 g.

Concerning the colors of the early forms of free blown aryballoi one could state that many of those were in cobalt blue and amber colors. Sometimes in combination with opaque white embellishments. Much rarer are the aryballoi in the so called splashed-glass manner. This splashed glass either in bi-chrome or polychrome, is created by placing differently colored glass chips on the marver, a perfectly flat piece of stone, and rolling the hot glob of glass over those chips by which these chips become part of the total mass. The glass mass is than further blown out into the form and size chosen by the glassmaker followed by another rolling on the marver. One really could show off with such a colorful aryballos.


With the evolving techniques fully utilizing the potential of the metal blow pipe, the form of the aryballoi and the colors thereof got more or less standardized. Most of the objects were made in bluish-green glass. This color is more or less the result of the used ingredients and the impurities in those like iron-oxide in the used sand. Anyway, a certain blue-green color can be indicative for a specific production region. Glass objects manufactured in the Rhineland do have a somewhat different and typical bluish-hue called in German “blaulichgrün”. That bluish-green color is a variant on the more common bluish-green color of roman glass originating from the Eastern Mediterranean area. Glassmakers discovered already early on the possibility to decolorize glass by using ie. manganese. However, that was in that time a cumbersome process. Despite of it, many glassworkers in the workshops in Cologne and Alexandria used that technique. The extra effort could be minimized by using extremely pure sands like the quartz sands. However, it should be stipulated that very few of those colorless glass objects survived. The early glassmakers also discovered that adding metals to the mix of ingredients resulted in different colors. Adding silver giving a yellowish hue to the end product. Or, the addition of cobalt giving a strong bluish color. Yes, the core formed aryballoi have most of the time a strong bluish color in the base material. The other (vibrant) colors are just marvered. For aryballoi of later date formed with the metal blow pipe technique the bluish color is quite rare. The University of Pennsylvania Museum has a very rare opaque blue aryballos with white handles and a decoration of ground rings in the corpus of the object. Especially the first part of the 1st century CE is characterized by the use of a variety of different colors. However, as that century progresses less vibrant colors become en vogue. One sees the simple bluish-green and later on the yellow-green (olive color) emerge. For the Rhineland the previously mentioned typical bluish-green objects stay to be the prevailing color.

Differently shaped aryballoi

The thick walled aryballoi have most of the time a spherical shape, but many other forms are known. As mentioned before, squat, bi-conical and even hexagonal forms are known. The dimensions vary also quite extensively. In the Bonn area aryballoi have been found with a height of 21- 24 mm.

Miniature aryballos, collection Hans van Rossum. Probably Cologne; 1st century CE; H = 3.2 cm, D = 2.4 cm; W = 14 g

Perhaps these miniatures were additional grave gifts with a more symbolic meaning. Because this kind of format is kind of impractical for use in the thermal baths. A height of 50 mm’s is quite normal. The museums of Tongeren (Belgium), Amiens (France) and the French Departement SeineMaritieme show many examples of these. The most common height of the aryballoi is between 60 and 80 mm. However, objects of much larger size, up to 200 mm are known

Changed shapes and sizes


The color of the used glass was not the only thing that changed with the introduction of the metal blow pipe in the second half of the 1st century CE and the following standardization and mass production of aryballoi. The aryballoi could now, just like the jars and bottles, be blown in larger sizes because larger paraisons could be taken with the use of the metal blow pipe. This development can be seen from the 2nd and 3rd century CE when much larger aryballoi were formed. These were both heavy and medium walled. Up to now it’s not clear what these larger ones were used for. Carrying such a large object around was certainly a challenge and not particularly elegant. These larger aryballoi could have been used as storage vessels to form a stock in the public baths or, used in private baths in the large estates. An additional benefit of being able to take on a larger paraison was that now thicker walled aryballoi could be made lessening the chance of damage or breakage.


Hexagonal aryballos, collection Hans van Rossum. Found in Cologne; late 1st early 2nd C. H = 11.8 cm, D = 4.7 cm; W = 132 g.



The most exceptional form variant of the aryballos is the hexagonal one. While it seems that the description “aryballos” for this shape is not the proper one, the trade jargon (still) uses it. According to the literature only a very few hexagonal aryballoi have been found and in most cases the site of find was in the Western part of the Empire. Besides the matching hexagons there is a difference in appearance. There is a clear distinction between the compact type and a taller and more slender form. Besides the form also the way the hexagonal variant is made differs from all other aryballoi. The last ones are free blown while the body of the hexagonal ones is blown in a mold to establish the characteristic form while the neck and spout are free formed. The last (known) form variation on the aryballos is the ring type. This is basically a round form derived from the standard type but then produced as a kind of “pilgrim flask”, also called a lentoid form, with in the middle of the body a circular passage, giving the flask its ring form. The faultless forming of such “passage”, is a quite complex technique requiring top craftsmanship of the glassmaker. It is quite possible that the ring type aryballos is the result of experimentation by a local glassmaker trying to create an appealing new form using techniques unique to him. As he, or why not she, was quite successful with this new form it seems that quite a market developed for this new “fashion” model as shown by several finds of this special type. The other noticeable quality of this aryballos model is the color. Not a bluish-green but in many cases a light olive green or a pale yellowish color. Known finds of this type are from France and Germany and present in the museums of Lyon, Amiens, Cologne, Trier and Frankfurt.


Forming the mouths and handles


Different ways and means for forming the mouth of the aryballos are available. In a number of cases, mainly with the early examples, the mouth was folded in the form of a triangle. To accomplish this the glass was first outwardly extended than sloped upwards and folded inwards. The typical somewhat heightened “triangle” form is specific for production in the 1st century CE. Another mouth form is called a collar-rim. The rim was first folded outwards, and downwards followed by upwards and again inwards folding. In the so-called collar rim one can see that this form is a kind of imitation of earthenware current in that period. The ceramists of Pergamon in Asia-Minor used that form of collar rim extensively in their earthenware. The least complicated way to form the mouth of an aryballos was to finish it simply and smooth. The glass mass was at first horizontally worked outwards followed by folding it inwards again. After re-heating the mouth was further smoothed. Much of our knowledge about the areas of origin of the aryballoi is based on the differently executed mouths. Much of the knowledge about the area of origin, based on the differently executed mouths and ears or handles, we thank to the scientific study (1987) by Sorokina. The way the handles were made relates directly to the period in which the objects were made and their respective areas of origin. To note, the handles of the early and thin walled aryballoi were made by using a thick glass thread fixed to the shoulder of the object, pulled up to the rim than turned downwards and folded to be fixed to the neck of the object. This way of doing is more or less like the way the handles were formed and attached for the core formed ones in the Hellenistic period. Sometimes the handles were made of the same color as the glass for the body known as monochrome. In other cases the glass for the handles was of a contrasting color known as, like mentioned earlier, bi-chrome.


After the deployment of the metal blow pipe, probably during the second part of the first century CE, the aryballoi got not only heavier and larger, but got differently formed handles. For example, free standing circular handles placed on the shoulder so not touching the neck at all. Others were attached to the shoulder and connected to the mouth. Others were formed like the silhouette of a dolphin, hence the name dolphin handles. This dolphin shape points to production in the North-Western part of the Roman Empire and more specific to workshops in Cologne or the area around Cologne. The majority of the aryballoi has two handles, however, others are known with three or four handles. The latter are quite rare.

Sprucing it up

The majority of the spherical heavy walled aryballoi were without any decoration. Exceptions excluded. Some of the aryballoi from the northern coasts of the Black Sea were provided with horizontal grooves ground into the corpus at defined spacing and pattern.

In karanis (Egypy) some aryballoi were unearthed with ground grooves in the body, however, these are made of clear translucent glass. Other decorations are known like using glass threads wound around the body of the object.

These aryballoi are generally found in the North-Western part of the Roman Empire and could refer to production centers in Cologne. From that same region objects are known where the glass thread forming the (dolphin) handles progresses downwards on the body of the object. To get, in a number of cases, an extra decorative effect that lower part has been pinched with a set of pliers giving a ribbed impression. The aryballoi formed in a mold to get a pattern on the body are quite rare. One unique example is known having a diamond pattern.

Sealing the aryballoi

The mouth of the aryballos can be plugged or sealed. Most of the time a bronze stopper was used or another kind of a plug. The stoppers were often connected to a bronze link chain. The aryballos could be carried along by attaching a cord or a metal chain, but also with a nicely formed bronze handle.


Most of the time bronze rings connected the carrying accoutrements to the handles. In many cases the metal elements have corroded away but, there are still objects having a well preserved part or all the accoutrements.

A totally different way to seal the aryballos was by plugging the mouth with a wad of a white substance, either bee wax or gypsum, as was more or less common for bottles and jugs. A “funny” example is the aryballos shown here.

Aryballos, collection Hans van Rossum. Probably the Northern Black Sea Region, 2nd – 3rd century CE; H = 9,6 cm; D = 7,8 cm; W = 68 g.

The bee wax or gypsum was not particularly neatly applied but like a great lump slumped over the spout. The previous owner of this aryballos was not aware of using different materials to seal aryballoi. He assumed that the content of the aryballos had, in the grave, a kind of uncontrolled chemical reaction, forming this irregular glob. In his opinion this reaction had formed the kind of chalky plug. After he tried to remove this “flaw” he noticed that the spout was already cracked in antiquity. To deal with the sealing problem the original Roman owner packed the whole in a large blob of bee wax or gypsum. Further scientific research has to give the answer to the question if this blob is bee wax or gypsum. Another remarkable detail with this aryballos is the way the handles have been attached. In all up to now known cases the glassmaker attached the glass thread first to the shoulder pulling it upwards, folding it and attaching it to the neck or the mouth. The glass thread starts in that case quite sizeable on the shoulder and “thins” when it’s pulled up. With this aryballos the glassmaker also started out in the traditional way but, probably, the glass blob did not fuse on the shoulder. Subsequently he or she started to work after that incident in the reverse way and attached the glass thread first to the neck. Thereafter he, or again she, finished his or her work more or less in the traditional manner folding the glass thread and re-attaching it to the left glass blob on the shoulder. The above described process could, in a Sherlock Holmes way, be researched from the observation that the glass thread on the top side is thick and thins out to the shoulder. In this way shortcomings in the production like not fusing or developing cracks, and the masterly repairs by the glassmaker, can be discovered.

To conclude: let’s sprinkle some sand, to finish this article

The thermal baths played also an important role in the day to day doings of the people in the times of the Roman Empire. Sand was a cleansing medium in the baths but is also the main ingredient for making glass. The baths also functioned as a kind of neighborhood center were people could gossip, exchange the most recent news, or play board games. Not to say that plots could be developed around politics or politicians. Who says that the baths didn’t play a role in many plots around the impeachment of a reigning emperor or the succession thereof? One sees what a role small objects like aryballoi can have in history.

Below are more aryballoi as part of the several of the Dutch collections and an American glass collector


Collection Aad van den Born

Aryballos, Roman Empire; 2nd century CE; H = 7.3 cm, D = 6.4 cm; W = 73 g.

Collection Elisabeth & Theo Zandbergen

Collection Annelies Bos-Pette

Aryballos, Roman Empire, probably Gaul; 1st-2nd century CE; H = 5.0 cm, D = 4.8 cm; W = 36 g

Windmill Collection

Collection Joop van der Groen

Collection Arie Dekker

Collection Nico Bijnsdorp

Collection Hans van Rossum

Allaire Collection


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

Free blown yellowish prismatic Roman bottle


The Windmill Collection of Roman Glass


Date: Mid 1st -2nd Century AD From: Northern Italy, possibly Asia Minor Size:  H = 12.5 cm D = 7.5 cm

Description: Free blown medium sized yellowish-olive colored prismatic bottle with rounded shoulders. Flattened bottom rises slightly in the middle, no base mark. Two-ribbed handle applied on shoulder and attached to the neck and rim.

Classification: Isings (1957) form 50a

Condition: Completely intact

Remark: Prismatic bottles in this color are rare.

References: Toledo Museum of Art (darker, longer neck (Cyprus); Museo Vetrario di Murano, (same form, bluish-green

Merovingian Palm Cup

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

114E Merovingian Palm Cup of Allaire Collection


Size: H: 6.5 cm, Dia. 10 cm Date: 600-800 Century AD


Remarks: This is a Frankish (Merovingian) palm cup of light green glass. The cup has the characteristic rounded form at the bottom and a rounded rim.

Provenance: Ex: Martin Wunsch collection, NYC.

Ref: Verres Antiques et de L’Islam: Ancienne Collection de Monsieur D. (Auction at Hotel, 1985 lot 519), Catalogue of Anglo-Saxon Glass in the British Museum Vera I. Evison, P. 140 # 95

Compare the characteristics of this Merovingian palm cup with the Roman palm cup 50E below.

Roman Pale Green Cup 59R of Allaire Collection

Date: 2nd-4th Century  Size: H: 7.3 cm

Remark: A small pale green palm cup, cracked with no weathering. Two or more centuries later the Merovingian palm cup appeared.

Provenance: The collection of Louis Gabriel Bellon


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