Ancient Glass Blog of The Allaire Collection


Posted in Uncategorized by Allaire Collection of Glass on February 29, 2020

This post is a pictorial catalog of decorating styles used on Merovingian glass vessels. The Merovingian period of glass making is dated 5th – 7th centuries.

(Click on a photo below to enlarge the image and use Esc key or back arrow to get back to this main page.)


Group #1

Self Trails

(Trails are threads of glass in this case made of the same metal as the body.)


Marvered Trails

(The trails are pressed into the vessel)

Thick Lattice Trails

Group #2

White Contrasting Unmarvered Trails




Loop Trailing

Group #3

Festoon Pattern

(A decorated pattern in form of garlands, ribbons, or drapery hanging in a natural curve.)


Wavy Trails





Ribbing: Vertical or Swirled





Group #4

Pattern Molded










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

81R Roman Bowl with Zig-Zag Trailing of Allaire collection

Date: 4th century, Height: 7.0 cm, Diameter: 10.5 cm


Description: Pale yellow-green glass was used to form this late Roman bowl, with a vertical collar-like rim around it.  The small out splayed hollow foot, pushed in on the bottom showing a pontil scar.  A thick turquoise trail was applied around the bowl in a Zig-Zag design with a continuing thin trail wound four times on the top edge of the bowl and two rotations on the rim.

Remarks: This bowl is from the Eastern Mediterranean and is not a typical form.  The shape may have been influenced by Egyptian bowls found at Karanis, see our 39R.  The color of the bowl and  trailing are similar to what is on our Zig-Zag jar 22R.

Ref: Roman Glass in the Corning Museum of Glass Vol. II, David Whitehouse, 2001 # 648 (see it below), Les Verres Antiques Du Musee Du Louvre. Vol. II, Veronique Arveiller-Dulon, 2005, # 964, P.366, Roman and Pre-Roman glass in the Royal Ontario Museum, John W. Hayes, 1975, #369




Posted in Uncategorized by Allaire Collection of Glass on February 24, 2020

Vessels of this form and type were made in the 4th C.AD most probably from Eastern Mediterranean workshops

A Pictorial Post


Posted in Uncategorized by Allaire Collection of Glass on February 21, 2020

Example A

COLORLESS CARCHESIUM of Joop van der Groen

Roman Empire, Eastern Mediterranean │ 2nd – 3th century AD Size: ↑ 9,9 cm; Ø foot 4,8 cm; Ø rim 9,4 cm. │ Weight: 72 gram

Technique: Free blown. Tooled.
Classification: Isings (1957) form 36 b.
Description: Transparent colorless glass with a number of small air bubbles. Body of waisted bell-shaped form. Side wall sharply curving back to slightly concave underside. Bottom pushed in to form a tubular base ring. Pontil mark. Thin glass thread around the body. Rounded rim.
Condition: Intact.
Remarks: Carchesia have been found throughout the whole Roman Empire. La Baume (1974) says: “Carchesia of glass have been blown according to examples in metal.” It is not certain that this form was called carchesium in the antiquity (Isings, 1957).
The basic color of Roman glass is bluish-green. This has been caused because sand (the main element for making raw glass) has been polluted by iron oxide. By addition of 0,2 to 1,5 percent antimony oxide the bluish/green raw glass changes into colorless glass. The use of silver or quartz sand also results in colorless glass.
Provenance: 2006 Frides Lameris Kunst en Antiekhandel vof, Amsterdam. Before 2006 in a private Dutch collection.
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. 48.
Reference: Glas der antiken Welt (P. La Baume, La 1974), no. D 8: Archéologie, Collections de deux Grands Amateurs (Binoche et Giquelllo, Paris), 30-05-2012, no. 159; Kunstwerke der Antike (Cahn Auktionen AG Basel), Auktion 7, 03-11-2012, no. 112; Ancient Coins & Antiquities, Archaeological Center Tel Aviv), Auction 54, 27-03-2013, no. 243.

Example B



The Windmill Collection of Roman Glass

Date: Late 1st-2nd Century AD (Isings form 36b), Rhineland

Size: H = 10.3 cm              D = 9.8 cm

Condition: intact

Description: Freeblown pale green bell-shaped beaker with applied foot. Rim plain and rounded, wall tapers, then splays to carination with slight overhang, below which it tapers sharply to bottom. No pontil mark.

Provenance: Private collection Cologne (Germany)

Ref.: Gallo-Roman Museum Tongres (Belgium); Kunstpalast Museum Dusseldorf (Germany); Rijksmuseum voor Oudheden, Leiden (Netherlands).

Example C

75R Roman glass Carchesium of Allaire Collection

Date: 4-5th century  Size: H: 7.5 cm Rim D: 8.5 cm

Condition: intact

Description: This rather large pale yellow-green concave beaker has a thin glass trail around its body with an out-splayed folded rim.  The rounded curved base does not have the classic Roman ring foot but a round protrusion which makes it very stable.  The pontil mark in the center of the base is cracked off and rough.  The beaker has the elements of both a 1st C. Roman jar and a 5th C. Merovingian bell beaker.  It is probably not Merovingian.

Anna’s Glass

Posted in Uncategorized by Allaire Collection of Glass on February 19, 2020

This example is a popular commemorative glass from the Victorian Era with the date of 1899, and the city Asbury Park (NJ), and name. There are many glasses like this with different places, dates, and names. This one is not an important glass but is very special to me because my Grandfather William Theadore Crane at the age of 23 gave it to his new bride Anna on their honeymoon in Asbury Park.

H: 3 ½ inches

D: 1899


Asbury Park is located on New Jersey’s central coast. Developed in 1871 as a residential resort.  At the date on the glass this was the place to be with beaches, a merry-go-round which is still there and working.




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Posted in Uncategorized by Allaire Collection of Glass on February 16, 2020

82R Blue Juglet of the Allaire Collection

Date: 3rd-4th C.  Height: 13cm

Transparent blue glass with swirls of darker blue formed this small jug with trefoil mouth.  The rim is folded in, cylindrical neck widening to a globular body.  A very thin trail winds around the vessel from base of the neck ending in center of the bottom which has a rough pontil mark.  Dark blue coil handle is laid on the shoulder and pulled up attached to mouth.  Minor weathering with no cracks, losses or repairs.

Reference: Glasses of Antiquity, Fortuna Fine Arts, 2002, #67, Christie’s, London July9, 1991, Lot 63, Fire and Sand, Ancient Glass in the Princeton University Art Museum, 2012, #253, #254.


Posted in Uncategorized by Allaire Collection of Glass on February 13, 2020

Two Glass Unguentaria from Persia AcoaG 65 and AcoaG 66


The Augustinus Collection of Ancient Glass

Photo: AcoaG 65 and AcoaG 66


Shape AcoaG 65:  Moirin Jean: forme 37, Kisa: Glas-Form A31, Isings: form 6, 26 > 101 > 4th. c. A.D.

 Shape: AcoaG 66:  Kisa: Glas-form A27. Kunina: in origin the form derives from the alabastron, no’s: 2-18.

 Period: Sasanian into the Islamic period | ca. 3rd-7th. century A.D.

Dimensions: AcoaG 65: ↑ 6.9 cm | Ø Body: 6.25 cm | Ø Mouth: 1.9 cm | Base facet: 2.85 cm | W: 30g| AcoaG 66: ↑ 8.04 cm | Ø Body: 3.9 cm | Ø Mouth: 1.4 cm | Base facet 1.4 cm | W: 28 g |

Description & Technique: One globular and one pear-shaped body; as for AcoaG 65: Globular bottle of white to yellow opaque glass, with almost ‘ceramic’ appearance; rim everted with rounded edge, flat top and a narrow mouth, – but wider as it is with a so-called ‘sprinkler bottle’ – made by folding up and in; neck short with tapering side; lower wall of body comes to plain base with concave situated circular pontil mark. Intact; dull and pitted. C. Isings sees a development from form 6 and 26 to form 101 lasting into the 4th. century.

AcoaG 66, with the pear-shaped body: blown and tooled to create the ribbed mouth – most likely this was made possible with pincers to form this special feature; no pontil visible, probably it was abraded.

Photo: AcoaG 66

David Giles was the first to see and comment the two unguentaria:The hard allover enamel patina is a feature i have seen of glass coming from Persia and surrounding areas. Late Sassanian, say 7th. century. This is an overlap period and sometimes hard to differentiate between Islamic and Sassanian. I am still more inclined to call them “Islamic”. (Written statement 16th. of January 2020.)

 Condition: Intact and complete; with heavy allover patina that makes the original color of both glass bottles almost indeterminable. Presumably the glass once had a translucent white to yellow appearance.

Bibliography/ References:

Comment, quoted from David Whitehouse*: ’Dropper flasks came into use in parts of the eastern Roman Empire, notably Syria, in the third century (Clairmont 1963 p. 41, no 157. From Dura-Europos, before 256 A.D.; Stern, 1977, pp. 95-100, nos 27A,B). Most Syrian dropper flasks are globular or pears-shaped, and they frequently have mold-blown decoration that includes overall geometric patterns or applied ornaments with ’snake-thread’ patterns. A second distinctive group of dropper flasks is found in Iraq, but not in Syria. Most of these Mesopotamian (presumably Sasianian) flasks are spheroid, and they may be decorated with vertical or swept mold-blown ribs or overall geometric patterns, pinched vertical flanges, or spiral trails (but not snake-thread motifs).’ **

Ref. 1. Metropolitan Museum NY, Globular Bottle wth slightly taller neck ca. 3rd-7th century A.D. Accession number 34.107.8.

Ref. 2.  Whitcom, Donald S. 1985, Before ‘the Roses and Nightingales’: Excavations at Qasr-i Abu Nasr, Old Shiraz, New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, pp 156-157, fig. 58bb.

Ref. 3 * Whitehouse, David, Sasanian and Post-Sasanian Glass in the CMoG, 2005 NY. Introduction and description of no 2, Bottle and no 3, Dropper Flask , pp 17-20.

Ref.  4. **  St. John Simpson, 2015. Sasanian glassware from Mesopotamia, Gilan, and the Caucasu. Journal of Glass studies 57.77-96. Text dedicated to the memory of the late David Whitehouse (1941-2013).

Ref. 5,  E. Marianne Stern, 1995, Roman Mould-Blown Glass, pp. 37-42.

Ref. 6.  Masterpieces of Glass, 1968, p 105, no 135 in relation to the travelroutes to China.

Ref. 7. The David Collection, Islamic Art / Glass, Copenhagen, D.K.

 Provenance: Most likely the two unguentaria were imported from the Eastern Roman Empire long after the dead of the emperor Constantine (in office: 312 – 337 A.D.) who gave freedom to the Christian religion in the year of 312 A.D. Although in the eastern Roman empire the Christians suffered once again under Persian rulers.** (St. John Simpson, 2015.). From a private dutch collection, previously unpublished. Said to have been found in the roman town of Trier Germany, which is very remarkable or perhaps untrue. – note with the glasses -.

photo: AcoaG 65,



Posted in Uncategorized by Allaire Collection of Glass on February 10, 2020

Roman glass spoon (cochlearium)


The Windmill Collection of Roman Glass

Date: 1st-4th Century AD Size: H=12.7 cm  (handle/scoop D=3.2cm (scoop)


Provenance: Prof. Dr. Ehud Malberger collection, Haifa (Isr.)

Description: The spoon has a thin hollow stem of blue-green glass that narrows (with a small turn) from the scoop at the end. The glassworker first has blown a thin tube and then pressed the last bit of glass into an open mold to form a shallow scoop or bowl. He has reheated the glass to finish the handle. The spoon has numerous small bubbles, two larger ones in the scoop.

Condition: Intact

Remark: Glass spoons are found in the Roman Empire, though not frequently, particularly in the Mediterranean area. Undoubtedly used in antiquity in banquets of the well-to-do citizens, a number of frescoes from the region of Pompeii and Herculaneum with images of a number of spoons such as ligulae, cochleearia and simpulae are also shown. The first (and relatively most commonly found) has an oval bowl and handle in various sizes, decorated or not. The second form (such as this one) has a round scoop and sometimes a tip at the end, it is generally assumed that it was used when consuming shellfish and eggs (in Latin cochlearium or also cochlear(e) in the sense of ‘snail’). For the third form of a (serving) spoon, a simpulum → see also an example in The Windmill Collection on this blog.

Reference: In the Corning Museum NY there is an almost identical specimen in the same color, Also with a round scoop and a point at the end of the stem. Dr. Whitehouse describes the spoon1st century BC. up to 5th century AD. → Roman Glass in the Corning Museum Vol 1 p. 357.

Corning Museum


Other parallels, slightly different in shape and length, such as an oval bowl and stem with a small bend, are in literature often dated between the 1st and 4th centuries AD.


Posted in Uncategorized by Allaire Collection of Glass on February 7, 2020

LENTOID ARYBALLOS of  Hans van Rossum


Second part of 1st century AD | Roman Empire Size↑14.5 cm | ø 6.2 cm | Weight 99 g


Technique: Free blown, handles applied, tooled

Classification: Isings 1957 form 61 (variant) Vanderhoeven 1962 no. 92 for one handle and no. 96 for the other handle

Description: A transparent yellowish pale green thick-walled aryballos, lentoid body with small flattened base, rim folded inward and flattened; cylindrical neck with numerous small bubbles. Two different formed handles applied on both sides of the shoulder, one of green glass and the other of yellowish green glass.

Condition: Intact, some iridescence and incrustation

Provenance: Tolland (CT) USA, 2014

Remarks: Not only a lentoid formed aryballos is rare, but it is also very interesting that handles come from completely different canes and are made in a different form. When applying a ribbon handle, it is usually done in a straight forward manner, the handle is applied with a few spots touching and adhering. This makes the handle weak and many of the frills of the ribbon often break off in sections. On this flask however, both handles are reinforced by placing a pad of glass on each shoulder first with the handles applied to that. This also allows the maker to work slower. So it is not a repair to either handle but is rather the glassmaker experimenting using pads to strengthen handles and experimenting with slightly different shape handles. An interesting piece because the technique in which the two handles are attached is rare too.

Reference: No parallels could be found


Posted in Uncategorized by Allaire Collection of Glass on February 5, 2020

FAÇON DE VENISE WINE GLASS of Elisabeth & Theo Zandbergen



Dimensions: ↑ 13,3 cm.; ø cup 6,8 cm.; ø foot 8,3 cm.; weight 105 gram
Origin: most probably the northern Netherlands mid 17th century

Description:This fine wine glass has a so called rounded bucket bowl, see Bickerton, which is an almost cylindrical cup slightly, rounded of at the bottom. A bucket bowl is one of the rarer forms for this type of glass. The very large diameter foot is also quite typical for glasses from this period see also the glass with the two hollow knops. The cup set directly on a merese which on a second smaller merese and then attached to the top part of the pointed hollow knop. At the bottom part of the knop is again a small merese, followed by a short solid section connecting thru a flattened knop to the almost flat foot with turned in rim. The stem construction is a so called inverted baluster.

Material: soda glass (cristallo)

Condition: Intact

Parallels: (amongst others)
– The stem construction is almost the same as for glass BM 30 from the Bomers-Marres
collection, see pg. 30 of the catalogue “ Het vormglas door de eeuwen heen” published by
Laméris in 2006,
– Frides and Kitty Laméris, Venetiaans & Façon de Venise glas 1500 – 1700, exhibition
Nieuwe Kerk Amsterdam 1991, pg. 97 nr. 79b,
– Laméris 2014, “Glasses and their portraits”, the Kees Schoonenberg collection, pg. 112/113,
– Pijzel-Dommisse & Eliëns, “Glinsterend Glas, pg. 158 nr. 264, exhibition catalogue 2009,
however, engraved and with a taller hollow knop,
– Mees, “Glashelder, Tafel- en Sierglas from the 16th to the 18th century, pg. 72 nr. 50,
equal stem construction,
– Bellanger, Histoire du Verre, L’Aube des Temps Modernes 1453 – 1672, pg. 78,
– Ritsema van Eck, Glass in the Rijksmuseum Vol. 1, pg. 36 nr. 32
– Vreeken, “Glas in het Amsterdams Historisch Museum en Museum Willet-Holhuysen”,
pg. 168 nr. 147, a by Jacobsz. Heemskerk engraved much smaller glass, however with
the same architecture,

– with Thierry L’Huillier, Pont L’Eveque, France,
– in the owners collection since 2015.

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