Ancient Glass Blog of The Allaire Collection


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

The First Century was the Golden Age of the Roman Empire and Glass Making

The 1st century is considered part of the Classical era, epoch, or historical period. During this period, Europe, North Africa and the Near East fell under increasing domination by the Roman Empire, which continued expanding, most notably conquering Britain under the emperor Claudius (AD 43). The beginning of the 1st century, under the adopted son of Caesar, Augustus saw a huge expansion in the Roman Empire.  The Roman glass industry sprang from almost nothing and developed to full maturity over a couple of generations during the first half of the first century A.D.   Doubtless, Rome’s emergence as the dominant political, military, and economic power in the Mediterranean world was a major factor in attracting skilled craftsmen to set up workshops in the city, but equally important was the fact that the establishment of the Roman industry roughly coincided with the invention of glassblowing. This invention revolutionized ancient glass production, putting it on a par with the other major industries, such as that of pottery and metal wares. The Roman glass industry owed a great deal to eastern Mediterranean glass-makers, who first developed the skills and techniques that made glass so popular that it can be found on almost every archaeological site, not only throughout the Roman empire, but also in lands far beyond its frontiers.

Four blue Roman glass vessels in the Allaire Collection

The blue glass vessels were very popular during the first century and continue today with modern collectors. The examples below are of both the color and shapes of these blown bottles. Many of these early first century bottles were intentionally colored and these rich colors were a dominate feature in glass making until the end of the first century A.D. when colorless glass became more fashionable.


          17R                            54R                                42R                              05R

17R Blue bottle with elongated globular body,tall neck ending in a tiny but precisely worked rim.   Date: First century  H: 13 cm

54R Roman Glass Marbled Pear Shaped Bottle  Date: First century H: 5.6 cm

42R Blue Roman bottle with thin trailing  Date: First century H: 11 cm

05R  Small blue Roman glass bottle  Date: First century A.D. H: 5.2 cm, GD: 3.8 cm

Click on the link under the pictured glass to see the information on this vessel. Also click on the picture to enlarge it.

2 Responses

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  1. wynkin said, on April 27, 2020 at 1:52 pm

    What would these be used for?

    • Allaire Collection of Glass said, on April 27, 2020 at 2:46 pm

      Mostly oils and perfume

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