Ancient Glass Blog of The Allaire Collection


Posted in Uncategorized by Allaire Collection of Glass on January 30, 2020

CYLINDRICAL BOTTLE of Joop van der Groen

Cylindrical Roman Bottle

Cylindrical Roman Bottle

Roman Empire, Eastern Mediterranean │ Late 1st century – 2nd century AD
Size: ↑ 17,0 cm; Ø max. 12,4 cm; Ø rim 7,5 cm. │ Weight: 437 gram

Technique: Mold-blown in an open mold. Neck and mouth free blown. Handle applied.
Classification: Isings (1957) form 51 a. Fleming (1999) type a for the handle.
Description: Transparent bluish-green glass. Cylindrical body with short cylindrical neck, rim folded outward, down, upward, and outward to form a collar. Shoulder slopes, with rounded edge. Wall tapers slightly and curves in the bottom; base plain, slightly concave on undersite; no pontil. Strap handle with twelve sharp ribs, applied into edge, drawn up and in, and attached to neck.
Condition: Intact with strong iridescence and with some encrustation
Remarks: A handle like this has been named “celery-handle”.
Through the interaction of liquid and pollutions in the ground glass is weathering and can get all colours of the rainbow.
Provenance: before 2005 in the private collection of Simon Spierer (1926 – 2005), Genève; he was an art dealer and patron of the arts.
Published: Romeins glas uit particulier bezit (J. van der Groen & H. van Rossum, 2011).
Exhibited: Thermenmuseum Heerlen (NL), “Romeins Glas, geleend uit particulier bezit”,
29 April – 28 August 2011, exp. no. 206
Reference: Ancient Glass of Asia Minor – The Yüksel Erimtan Collection (C. Lightfoot & M. Arslan, 1992), no. 18; Ancient Glass in the Israel Museum – The Eliahu Dobkin Collection and Other Gifts (Y. Israeli, 2003), no. 323; Ancient Glass in National Museums Scotland (C. Lightfoot, 2007), no. 180; Hôtel des Ventes d’Enghien, Enghien-les-Bains (Fr), Auction 22-05-2011, no. 8.


Posted in Uncategorized by Allaire Collection of Glass on January 27, 2020

Below are three examples of this beautiful type core-formed vessels .

(picture from a Sotheby’s auction catalog June 20, 1990)

1. Left, A white core-formed glass Oinochoe circa 5th century B. C. Height 11 cm. The body ornamented in aubergine with a band of zig-zags between spiral trails above and below in aubergine thread.

2. Center, A white core-formed glass Alabastron circa 5th century B. C. Height 15.6 cm. The slender slightly-tapering body is ornamented with a band of zig-zags and with spiral thread above and below in aubergine colored thread.

3. Right, A white  core-formed glass Alabastron 6th-4th century B. C. Height 10.2 cm. The simplicity of the form with a single translucent aubergine thread encircling the body and the rim points out the beauty of this rare alabaster color of vessel.


Posted in Uncategorized by Allaire Collection of Glass on January 23, 2020

Hamilton College is a private liberal arts college in Clinton, New York. It was founded as Hamilton-Oneida Academy in 1793 and was chartered as Hamilton College in 1812 in honor of inaugural trustee Alexander Hamilton.

The Burgess Collection of ancient glass provides a comprehensive survey of ancient glassmaking from the 6th century B, C. to the 13th century A.D. The strengths of the collection are blown glass from the later Roman period, including a large number of utilitarian wares as well as beautifully decorated luxury vessels. Catalog of show: Ancient Glass, The Hamilton College Collection, Carole Allaire, Clinton N.Y 1988

The pictures below are examples their ancient glass collection.


Posted in Uncategorized by Allaire Collection of Glass on January 20, 2020


Wallonie-Les Verres Merovingiens, Tresors de Wallonie, Musee Ourthe-Ambleve, Comblain-au-Pont, 1993 page 39


This type of Merovingian beaker was made in a bell shape or with straighter sides ( see the drawings below).  At the top there is a splayed lip and the body sits on a small circular pad base. Some have a stubby stem between the body and pad base.  Most have a self trailing at the top below the lip with some also having trails in the middle and on the bottom.  They range in size between 6-10 cm, and are dated 5-6th Century.

Below are examples from various museums and the Allaire Collection click on the picture to enlarge and use the back arrow to come back to this page.

Wallonie-Les Verres Merovingiens, Tresors de Wallonie, Musee Ourthe-Ambleve, Comblain-au-Pont, 1993 page 151


Posted in Uncategorized by Allaire Collection of Glass on January 17, 2020

Practical jokes are tricks played on someone in order to make them look foolish and to amuse others and have been around for as long as history. It is not surprising to find them in glass containers. They are called trick, joke, puzzle jug, siphon glass, innkeeper, bartender, toastmaster, or deceptive glasses.  Below are three examples of this type.  Click on the description above the picture to get more interesting  information on these object.  Then use the back arrow to come back to the post.

FACON de VENISE TRICK GOBLET of the Allaire Collection


89E Facon de Venise trick glass C. 1650


#130 A Venetian toastmaster’s or deceptive glass with spiked gadroons

ENGLISH INNKEEPER’S WINE GLASS of the Allaire Collection




Posted in Uncategorized by Allaire Collection of Glass on January 14, 2020


Dating: The production of these glass bowls, colorless or pale green to olive green are attributed to the period of the Achaemenid dynasty in Persia (559-330 BC).

Description: The forms of the glass bowls are copied from the Achaemenid silver and bronze shapes. They feature either embossed fluting, rosettes of pointed leaves or lobed designs on both deep and shallow bowls with flaring rims.  The shallower bowls are called phiales.

Technique: The technique of manufacture was possibly the lost-wax casting method using the finest quality glass available. Many of these bowls show signs of being cut on the exterior and also polished on both surfaces.

The following bowl drawings are from, Early Ancient Glass, Toledo Museum of Art, 1989, David Grose

Achaemenid Bowls

Metal Prototypes


Achaemenid Glass Bowls



Hellenistic cast, slumped, cut bowl top

Hellenistic cast, slumped, cut bowl bottom

Bonhams Fine Art Auctioneers

Getty Villa, side view –

Getty Villa, bottom view


The State Hermitage Museum


Phiale Bowls: Metal Prototypes

Phiale Glass Bowls

Toledo Museum of Art


Corning Museum of Glass



Posted in Uncategorized by Allaire Collection of Glass on January 11, 2020

(10A) Cathedral Styled Glass Pickle Jar of the Allaire Collection

Size: H: 11 ½ inches Date: 1845-1870


Description: This is a large then normal mold-blown jar in the gothic revival style with no pontil mark.  The jar has a wonderful cathedral decoration and a nice deep aqua green color.

Remarks: In the United States from about 1830 to 1860, design elements found in the Gothic cathedrals of Northern Europe—especially pointed arched windows with ornamental stonework—were adapted for use in the country house architecture and furnishings.  The popularity of the Gothic Revival style extended to the design of humble wares, among them this pickle jar. With Gothic-style arches on each side, the jar is evidence of the interest of people in a high style of the period.

Possibly manufacturer: Bulltown Glass Works or Crowleytown Glass Works both were in southern New Jersey,

Ref: Spillman II # 79, Ketchum 1975 p. 140 & 145 and 1985 p. 79, The Art Institute of Chicago # 1850/70, American Art gallery 227 (pictured below)


Size: 11 ½ inches Date: 1850/70



Posted in Uncategorized by Allaire Collection of Glass on January 9, 2020


Roemers in the Allaire Collection

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 an inverted conical shape 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.

Notes from Henkes book

* Roemers which have a convex bowl came into use before 1600.

* Until shortly before 1650 both berkemeyers and roemers retained pointed prunts.

* Raspberry prunts had been made prior to 1600.

* With few exceptions berkemeyers retained pointed prunts.

* Pincered notch foot rings used for all types disappeared before the mid 17th C (1650) being replaced by fused coil thread.

* Roemers with an egg-shaped bowl and coil foot became popular by 1600-1650.

Merovingian or Frankish necklace with beads of glass pasta and amethyst

Posted in Uncategorized by Allaire Collection of Glass on January 6, 2020

Merovingian or Frankish necklace with beads of glass pasta and amethyst

From The Windmill Collection of Roman Glass

Date: End 6th – mid 7th Century AD Sizes: Necklace  ↑ max. 2.0 cm   │   → 25.0 cm, Amulet     ↑ 2.0 cm              │   Ø  3.5 cm

Provenance: Rhineland (Germany)

Description: The necklace has 38 beads, with an amulet at the bottom. The small round bronze pieces are earrings. Processed are, among other things, five amethyst beads in various designs and a large number of cylindrical and ring-shaped specimens of glass pasta in various colors and decorations. Also some so-called double and (bi-) conical ones. Most beads are opaque, a few (half) translucent. Beads often have traces (reliefs, stripes, threads, markings, etc.) that provide information about the technical manufacture. The Merovingians generally made use of two methods, namely that of the so-called stretched glass and the rolled up glass. In the first method, a mass of glass is collected at the end of a metal rod (pontil), blown or pressed with a rod, after which it is obtained by the second rod a tube is realized. Now in the desired diameter. With the drawn beads, the glass tubes are cut into beads, sometimes rounded off in the fire. Many beads have a specific shape such as biconical, cylindrical, conical, cubical, prismatic and the like. Some are rolled out on a stone or metal plate or formed with the help of tools. Cold processing was also done by polishing. In contrast to rolled-out specimens, wound beads have a wide variety of decorations.


Condition: Intact, incl. a few bronze pieces and an amulet with bone.

Remarks: This type of necklace was found in graves for several centuries. In Belgium, Germany but often also in the Netherlands as can be seen in the Rijksmuseum van Oudheden in Leiden where, among other things, numerous specimens are kept from rich burial fields such as the Donderberg in Rhenen (NL). Glass production centers were scarce at the time. Up to now only one workshop has been found in the Netherlands where glass was made in the early Middle Ages, namely Maastricht (Jodenstraat), there are indications of possible production in Dorestad and Leidse Rijn. In Belgium this is the case in Huy, as well as in the Cologne region in Germany.

The Frankish women wore one of several cords around it, sometimes a small one as a bracelet. Furthermore, a sort of linen tunic with a long dress over it (with fibulae on the shoulders). A fibula or coat pin is a historical utility and decorative item that served as a closing item for various items of clothing. The object, usually made of metal, has a two-part locking mechanism in the form of a pin, a pin hole. You can consider it as the precursor of our button (or zip). Around the waist the woman wore a leather belt working with all kinds of things such as keys, amulets, bag or a knife. The belt went through the bracket from the right, made those things (via a small extra strap) hung on the left leg.

Numerous scientists have made an effort to classify Merovingian or Frankish glass beads: Koch (1977), Sass and Theune (1996), Matthes (1998), Siegmund (1998) and Pion (2013). The discussion about this is complicated and does not seem to have crystallized yet.

Amulets are objects, generally worn close to the body, that protect the person (2014 A.Willemsen). But you can also protect things with amulets, such as a personal sword with men. The beads of this necklace are strung again after the find, the amulet hangs with an extra bead at the bottom near a number of amethyst beads. However, it has not always been in its current location. The original was probably either attached to the tunic or hung on the belt (as described above), possibly even around the neck. The bronze amulet has a pierced leg decoration, probably the tooth of a bear, wolf or wild boar. Important because of the supposed protective and evil-repelling (apotropic) force. Because the ferocious animal had to be killed first to be able to carry part of it. The power of the animal thus passed to the wearer of the tooth.

Incidentally, it cannot be excluded that this particular bronze with bone may not be an amulet, but was part of an earring (comment 2018 Prof. Frans Theuws, Professor of Medieval Archeology at Leiden University)

Reference: Ernesto Wolf  (2001) nr. 222


Pictures by Aad van den Born


Posted in Uncategorized by Allaire Collection of Glass on January 3, 2020

The Fashion of Handles

The ancient glass makers of the Rome Empire generally didn’t pay much attention to the handles fashioned on their vessels.  Many of the handles look like they were put on by apprentices and not the masters who made the vessel’s body.  Of course there are many exceptions to this observation. In later centuries as fashions changed the handle became as important as the shape of the vessel.  Below are a few of the many types of handles found on glass objects.  Examples are taken from the Allaire Glass Collection.

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