Ancient Glass Blog of The Allaire Collection


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

NFB 343 TWO-HANDLED FLASK OF Nico F. Bijnsdorp

NFB 343 TWO-HANDLED FLASK OF Nico F. Bijnsdorp


Date: 3rd – 4th century AD. Origin: Eastern Mediterranean.

Size: H: 12.1 cm. D body: 6.2 cm. D rim: 3.1 cm. D base: 3.7 cm. Weight: 59 gr.

Condition: Excellent condition. Spectacular golden and rainbow iridescence.

Technique: Free blown. Handles applied.

Description: Pale bluish green glass. Collared rim, folded out-, down-, up- and inwards with a horizontal constriction. Cylindrical neck with constriction at its base. Horizontal sunken broad shoulder. Piriform body slightly widening at base. Concave bottom with pontil mark. Two strap handles dropped on edge of shoulder, drawn up vertically, bent horizontally and attached to neck just below the rim. Folds tooled into handles at upper and lower ends and in the middle.

Provenance: The John F. Fort Collection, 1996., Fortuna Fine Arts, New York, USA.

Published: Christie’s 25 October 2016, No. 153.

Exhibited: Museum of Fine Arts Houston, “Glass of Imperial Rome from the John. F. Fort Collection”, 2 June – 6 October 2002.

References: Israeli 2003, The Israel Museum, No. 340., Matheson 1980, The Yale University Art Gallery, No. 343.


Posted in Uncategorized by Allaire Collection of Glass on May 26, 2020

As one of the most versatile of all vessel shapes the bowl was probably the first to have been made by our earliest ancestors.  A bowl is common open-top container used in many cultures to serve food, drinks and for storing other items.  Although other materials such as stone, metal or wood were used to make bowls before and during the Roman period, once glass became popular around the 1st century glass bowls were manufactured in great abundance, from then and on to modern times. The following examples from the Allaire Collection of Glass illustrate the many variations in the sizes and shapes of glass bowls created during the Roman period and later.


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



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

Two handled roman footed jug

of the Henk-Martin Goldschmidt collection

Origin: Roman Empire. Date: 4th century AD

Description: Two handled jug with roman foot, 11 ribs and pushed-in bottom with pontil mark (Isings form is hard to define precise). Several cracks, professionally restored, iridescent, light green transparent glass, free blown, two opposing handleds applied, in both handleds two thumb-rests, tooled. A narrowed collar around flared neck, a sphere-shaped dip molded corpus, brownish deposit. Neck and mouth are free formed; the ends of the two attached round coil handleds were pressed together with the flat-nose pliers to form semicircular discs.

Dimensions: Height 13 cm, diameter mouth 5,5 cm, diameter foot 4,5 cm, diameter corpus 8,0 cm, weight 81 gram, capacity 294 ml (i.e. approx. ½ sentarius)

Origin: Roman Empire. It would have been found nearby Bonn, possibly Rhein-Stieg-Kreis, region i.e. the Rhine valley in de surroundings of Bonn, Germany.  Based upon the limited number of parallels and the resemblance of the handleds this could be the place of production as well.  However based on color and presentation production in the eastern Mediterranean is also a possibility.

Additional information: Convenient handleds with two thumb-rests each enable the use of three fingers in one movement resulting in a perfect control over the object. The two handleds extending from the shoulder of the flask to the middle of the neck are noteworthy additions to this vessel and may indicate the involvement of a workshop in the western part of the Roman Empire. However based upon the overall form origin in the eastern part of the Roman Empire and subsequent transport are also possible.

Parallels: The particular shape of the handleds is an easy search criterion but, as it worked out, hard to find. In October 2016 a similar flask was auctioned at Christie’s from the John F Fort collection and the MET holds a similar bottle in its collection. Both about the same size and presentation. In the Rheinischen Landesmuseum in Bonn a grape jug has identical handleds but the upper part is attached to the collar instead of the neck. Another bottle from the same museum, but shown in an earlier catalogue, shows parts of identical handleds. In het Römisch-Germanisches Museum in Köln shows a very similar jug on display but with only one handled. In Detroit (Detroit Institute of Arts) a similar two-handled bottle from the 4th century is kept.

Provenance: A private German collection for a long time, acquired November 2019 from Leon Vrancken, Eijsden, The Netherlands.


–  A Roman blue-green two handled flask from the collection of John F Fort, Christie’s auction, lot 153, October 2016

–  The MET, New York, Glass two-handled Roman bottle from late imperial period, dated 4th–5th century A.D., Number: X.21.170

–  Die Römischer Gläser im Rheinischen Landesmuseum Bonn, Anna-Barbara Follmann-Schulz, Landschaftsverband Rheinland, 1992, pages 39 – 40

–  Die Römischer Gläser aus Bonn, Anna-Barbara Follmann-Schulz, Rheinland Verlag, Köln, 1988, page 71 and number 239, table 28

–  Detroit Institute of Arts, Roman two-handled bottle, number 62.171 (Detroit, Michigan, USA)


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



Glassmaking was America’s first industry. A glass workshop was established at Jamestown, Virginia, in 1608. Severe weather and unfavorable economic factors soon forced it to close and so did the efforts to establish glassworks in Salem in 1641 and in Philadelphia in 1682. The Dutch operated two glassworks in the 1650’s in New York (New Amsterdam at the time). We know very little about the glass made in these early glassworks.  Until the early 1700s, the colonists imported glass windows and table glass, as well as bottles, mostly from England. In 1739, Caspar Wistar founded the Colonies’ first successful glass company, which was located in southern New Jersey. This glassworks started producing bottles, window glass and tableware. Another successful early American glassmaker was Henry W Stiegel, who set up three glassworks in Lancaster County, west of Philadelphia. He made mostly bottles and window glass. A third early glassmaker was John F. Amelung, who bought a failed glasswork in Frederick County west of Baltimore around 1784 and called it the “New Bremen Glass Manufactory”. All of these early American ventures were opposed strongly by the British, and after a few years they failed. It was not until the end of Revolutionary War in 1783, followed by the war with Britain in 1812-1815 together with the trade embargo on British goods, that American glass manufacture really took off. Glassmaking in America increased during every decade of the 19th century. In the 1820s, the American invention of pressing made glass tableware, which had previously been purchased solely by the most prosperous citizens, affordable to middle-class households. In the mid-1800s, as American industry and prosperity increased, a taste developed for ornate styles and complex decorations. The above information was taken from these web sites. Corning Museum of Glass and Glass Encyclopedia.

American Glass in the Allaire Collection

57A American pitcher (Juno’s)


The collection is shown as types and not as a time line.

Pitkin Bottle 1788-1830



Pattern-molded Bottles 19th Century


Chestnut Bottles and Handled Whiskey Bottles 19th Century


Pitchers 19th Century



Salts, Bowls and Dishes c. 1765-1890




Wine Glasses and Strap Handled Mugs



Water and Whiskey Pattern-molded Tumblers c. 1850-1899


40A –

Fry glass 1916-1930

The Fry glass in our collection is the heat resistant borosilicate glass made by H. C. Fry Glass Company in Rochester, PA 1902-1930. This company made complete dinner sets, tea sets and a large variety of heat-resistant oven glassware from 1916 to 1930 under a license from the Corning Glass Works.




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

FOOTED JUG of Hans van Rossum


Date: 4th century AD | Eastern Mediterranean Size: ↑10.8 cm | ø 5.0 cm | Weight 72 g


Technique: Free blown; handle, foot and coil applied; tooled

Classification: Kisa 1908: Band II, nr. 8, p. 317 for the type of the handles

Condition: Intact, perfect condition

Description: Transparent pale amber glass, ovoid body with almost horizontal shoulders. Cylindrical neck, wide mouth, rim folded outward. Base applied and tooled to form a hollow tubular base ring, pontil mark. Handle of turquoise colored glass, applied on the shoulder, drawn up and attached to edge of rim. Coil ring of turquoise glass encircling the neck and underside rim.

Provenance: Ex collection C.A. Hessing, Laren (NL) 26 October 1998, acquired in the 1990s, collection number 85 Amsterdam art market, Kunsthandel Aalderink 1992

Reference:  Christie’s New York, auction 9 December 1999, lot 467 Archaeological Center Tel Aviv, auction 15, 10 October 1995, lot 114


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

Square Roman Bottle


 Henk-Martin Goldschmidt collection

Date: 1st century AD  Dimensions: Height: 10.4 cm, 5.4 cm x 5.4 cm, Weight: 89 g


Bottle or jug of translucent sea-green glass. Square body with horizontal shoulder, rounded to the four straight walls. Cylindrical neck. Flaring mouth with inwardly folded rim. Solid and very wide strap handle with fine ribs applied on the edge of shoulder, folded with sharp angle toward neck and folded again below attachment to middle of neck. Because of the sharpness of the celery handle this is classified as an early bottle: 1st century. Flat base, slightly indented, with base-mark of four leaves arranged crosswise.

This is an example of a common type of storage bottle within the Roman empire. The square shape facilitates easy transportation while the capacity fits the measuring roman system (see further). The decorations on the bottom are marks referring to the maker and / or location of production.


Excellent, no damage, spectacular iridescence.


Body mould-blown, neck and mouth free-blown. Eleven-ribbed handle applied, so-called celery handle. Pontil mark. Isings 1957, form 50a; Handle Fleming 1999, p. 63: type 86-35-27


The capacity is 175 ml which represents 1/3 sentarius, because 1 sentarius stands for 546 ml and 48 sentarii equalizes one amphora.


Possibly northwest part of Roman Empire, probably Rhineland. Characteristic of mould-blown pieces are the sharp edges and the base mark. A comparable bottle with the same base mark of four leaves was discovered in a tomb in Switzerland, found in Döttingen in a tomb between Klingnau and Döttingen, now in the Musée National Suisse (inv. A-4371, Foy 2001, no. CH 26a). So found not so far from the Rhineland (Germania Superior).

France, Poitiers, départment Vienne, Nécropole des Dunes

In the trilogy of the AFAV (Association Francaise pour l’Archeologie du Verre) in volume 2 very similar bottles are described and shown on pages 273 to 282, all from Croatia. The description in the reference states under floral motifs on bottles from Croatia: CRO-SP 7 (pl. 2) Asseria, Podfrade at Benkovac. Square bottle with single small handle made of transparent glass with greenish blue (same glass description as given in the Dos Winkel catalogue). Geometric decoration: four radial petals on slightly concave bottom.

This color of translucent sea-green glass is typical for production in e.g. the Rhineland region. But, especially, these square bottles were designed to be transported in an efficient way. So it makes sense to find them at various sites within the Roman empire.

So the description in the Winkel catalogue says ‘probably Rhineland (based upon the color)’, however bottom marks point towards Switzerland (based upon the burial findings), France (based upon the shape of the cam) as well as Croatia (based upon the bottom marks) as possible production sites.

The form use to blow the glass into are much more indicative for the production place. In the museum in Bonn such a form construction is shown. This setup illustrates in a nice way how these bottles were manufactured. So one should clearly distinguish between finding site, i.e. place of use and production site.

Croatia,  Asseria, Podgrade at Benkovac


Gallery Drees Archeo (Nelly Drees), Brussels, about mid 1980’s, thereafter collection Dos and Bertie Winkel and acquired in June 2017 from Laméris, Amsterdam


– With a divine touch: The Dos and Bertie Winkel Collection, Frides Laméris Glass and Antiques, Amsterdam, 2017, number DOS 49, pages 66 and 67

– Newark Museum (Auth 1976, no. 132)

– Coeur de verre, Production et diffusion du verre antique (Foy 2003, p. 98)

– Roman glass found in and around Cologne (Fremersdorf 1958,no. N356 Tafel 118)

– Römische Glaskunst und Wandmalerei (Klein 1999, no. 3, p. 51. Mainz-Kastel, Inv. No. 1930/201)

– Corpus des Signatures et Marques sur verres antiques, volumes 1, 2 and 3, Daniel Foy, Marie-Dominique Nenna, Aix-en-Provence, Lyon, AFAV, 2006, 2006 en 2011, pale 16 in volume 1, and page 185 and page 192 in volume 3

– Die römischen Gläser im Rheinischen Landesmuseum Bonn, Anna-Barbara Follmann-Schulz, Rheinland-Verlag, Köln, 1992


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

A façon de Venise reverse-painting on glass

 of Henk-Martin Goldschmidt collection

Date: about 1570    Size: visible area 24 cm x 19.4 cm


Reverse painting of The Fall or The Temptation of Adam and Eve, after an engraving by Marcantonio Raimondi (after Raphael), the naked figures standing beside trees, with Adam holding the Forbidden Fruit, the serpent disguised with the head of a woman, concealed among the leaves in the tree above Eve, beside further fruit, a detailed village in the background beneath a broad band of gold foil (contained in a later frame).

This dynamic representation of The Temptation of Adam and Eve is taken from a design by Raphael for the Stanze in the Vatican commissioned in 1508-9. The direct source is likely to be a print after Raphael by Marcantonio Raimondi. This engraving dates from the first quarter of the 16th century, probably circa 1512-14. The glass panel is a reversed or mirror image of the print, and of course this is to be expected as the glass was painted on the reverse of the glass panel. The painter of the glass picture copied the figures and trees from Raimondi’s engraving but used much license with details and the landscape background. The most significant difference is the addition of a vine and a leafy branch to hide the figures’ nudity.

Engraving from Marcantonio Raimondi at the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam


The painting is applied directly to the underside of a panel of glass. Lifting the wooden backing board from the reverse of the frame shows the glass panel itself has been backed with a further thin pane of glass. This glass backing pane is loose and not actually attached to the painting. This backing pane of old glass is cracked. It is however loose and rests directly on the painted decoration. Although it is loose, one is reluctant to lift the cracked pane of backing glass and because of this one has not attempted to remove the glass picture from the frame. For this reason we have not examined the edges of the painted panel. Viewed under ultra-violet light in a darkroom, the painted decoration shows no obvious indication of any repainting or later repair. The band of gold foil looks very bright and while it is possible this has been refreshed, there is no reason to suggest this. Through the crack in the backing pane it has been possible to see the foil applied as a band directly on to the reverse of the glass picture.


There are two production methods for the flat glass used; the cylinder method and the crown method. Although unlike later glass pictures, these panels were possibly individually cast or formed rather than cut from larger panes of glass, resulting in their irregular edges and uneven, striated surfaces. The reverse images are divided into three groups: – painted in color on the reverse side of flat glass, – those engraved through metallic foil, and – those transferred from prints.  It is obvious that combinations are present and there is a variety of techniques applying the paint to the glass. Here probably the cylinder technique (grazing light reveals such) and a combination of paint applying techniques is used.


Being the director of the Tiroler Landesmuseum, Erich Egg, published a book entitled “The Glasworks in Hall and Innsbruck during the 16th century” in German in 1962. He extensively and explicitly explains in the introduction the reverse paintings were not produced in Hall and Innsbruck. This an error introduced in the literature in 1862 by a regional historian Sebastian Ruf, he states. This was repeated in 1959 door Walter Schreiber in the Tyrolean Homepages (Die Tiroler Heimatblättern) according to Erich Egg.

However Anna Awad-Konrad describes, starting in 1534, with the support of King Ferdinand I, the production of the Glassworks in Hall.  She presents an excess of prove that the production was extremely broad and included reverse paintings as well. She mainly bases her findings on excavations from 2008 and 2009 of more the 7700 square meters. The only weak point is that the glass ovens were not discovered. She explicitly mentions the book of Erich Egg saying that his findings were solely based upon art history and the geography of the findings in nearby monasteries and castles.

In 1992 the Corning Museum of Glass published a catalogue and presented an accompanying exhibition mainly based on the Ryser collection and book by Frieder Ryser. Their convincing circumstantial evidence was presented of high quality reverse-painted work from Hall-in-Tyrol during the 16th century (pages 15 – 18 and page 42 in the CMG catalogue). Ryser published his book a year before with similar information on the pages 56 – 67. In 1997 an additional book was published that provides more detail on localizing the production sites (pages 76 – 95).

The Robert Lehman collection in The Metropolitan Museum of Art (pages 81 – 89) descriptions of a dish as well as a tazza are given with much background information on specific glasshouses and even painters mentioned by name. However no direction is given to locate these paintings as Venetian or made in Hall or Innsbruck. They are dated as ‘about 1570’ or as ‘mid- to late sixteenth century’. This was 1993. One could also claim an involvement of the Raspillar glassmakers family from which the family tree starts in 1540 in Hall in Tirol.

Looking at the painting itself it fits the High Renaissance (the Mannerist) style. Scene after engravings of Marcantonio Raimondi (after Raphael) represent a distinguished group within the reversed paintings collection database. The scenes were copied, in reverse, in detail and the sometimes the landscape was part the painter could insert their own creativity.

 I did put considerable efforts to discover the location of the village within the painting. It looks lifelike. So far it is a typical mountain village that could be located in Austria (e.g. Kufstein) as well as northern Italy. So far no contribution towards the given controversy.


“We agree to disagree”; however the MMA description, still fits the best at this time. So Venetian or façon de Venise, probably Innsbruck, possibly Venice, about 1570; possibly Hall in Tyrol, mid- to late sixteenth century.


Frank Wyndham Sholto Douglas Murray, from his house at 9 Stratton St., London.

Probably inherited from his father, the antiquarian and Egyptologist Thomas Douglas Murray (1841-1911).

Bruce Fearn Collection. The panel was purchased by his father in the 1950’s from a house sale in Nottinghamshire.

Acquired from ‘Fine Glass and British Ceramics’ auction Bonhams, London, Knightsbridge, lot number 4 on 20 Nov 2019. Is was offered before by Bonhams in 2018.


– Die Glashutten zu Hall und Insbruck im 16. Jahrhundert, Erich Egg, Wagner, 1962, pages 7 – 9

– Verzauberte Bilder. Die Kunst der Malerei hinter Glas, Frieder Ryser, Klinkhardt & Biermann, 1991, pages 56 – 59

– Amalierte Stuck uff Glas / Hinder Glas gemalte Historien und Gemald, Frieder Ryser, Brigitte Salmen, Murau, 1997, pages 81 – 82

– Reverse Paintings on Glass. The Ryser Collection, Corning, 1992, pages 16-17, page 4

– Article in ATTI della Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei, Classe di Scienze Fisiche, Matematiche e Naturali, Rendiconti Lincei Matematica E Applicazioni · November 2015: Glassworks Hall in Tirol 1534-1635 by Anna Awad-Konrad, pages 123 – 127

– Glass in the Robert Lehman Collection (XI) , MMA, Dwight Lanmon and David Whitehouse, 1993, pages 81 – 89


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




Date: Late 6th – early 7th century AD. Palestinian, probably vicinity of Jerusalem.

Size: H 16.0 cm. D rim 6.3-6.9 cm. W body 7.3 cm. W base 6.7 cm. Weight 138 gr.

Barag JGS 1970: Class A1.
Newby 2008: Jerusalem Series Mold 1, Form 2.

Intact. Surface weathering and pitting. Silvery, dark blue and purple iridescence.

Body mold blown. Neck and mouth free blown. Handle applied and tooled.

Translucent dark amber-brown glass jug. Body with six rectangular panels decorated in sunken relief (intaglio), showing following motifs: (1) cross fourchée above three graduated steps; (2) two concentric lozenges with a cross in the center and a small circular depression in each of the four corners; (3) cross fourchée on three stepped circular rings; (4) as panel 2 but instead of a cross four small circular depressions as a cross in the center; (5) small cross standing on a tree trunk, flanked by stylized leaves with an arch above and a small circular depression in each of the two lower corners; (6) as panel 2 but with a circular depression instead of a cross in the center. Each panel framed by recessed dots. Hollow tubular handle applied to edge of shoulder above upper right corner of panel 5, drawn up- and outwards, folded into a vertical thumb-rest and attached to the edge of the rim. Excess glass folded back along the top of the handle. Wide flaring trefoil mouth with infolded rim. Cylindrical neck gently widening towards slightly sunken shoulder with rounded, overhanging edge. Flat base with pontil mark (12 mm).

Vessels of this type are often called “pilgrim flask”. They appear to have been mass-produced in the vicinity of Jerusalem. They are made for Jews and Christians as a token for pilgrims visiting the holy sites in the Holy Land. The Jewish vessels depict the menorah whereas the Christian vessels are decorated with several types of crosses. Since the vessels for the two religions closely resemble each other in shape and style and differ only in the symbols decorating the body, it is assumed that they were produced in a single workshop.
Newby has recorded 57 jugs from the Jerusalem Series with Christian symbols, almost 80% thereof in brown glass. Mold 1 combined with form 2 is represented by 19 examples. This jug shows the same form of thumb-rest and attachment of the handle to the rim as Newby form 2. However, the handle of Newby form 2 is curved whereas the handle of this jug resembles Newby form 5. Mold 1 in combination with form 5 has not been recorded.

Ex collection of Alexander White III, California, USA, 1960’s.

Bonhams 30 September 2015, No. 96.

Newby 2008, Shlomo Moussaieff Collection, No. 18. , Sothebys 20 June 1990, Breitbart Collection, No. 111. , Whitehouse 2001, Corning Museum, No. 593 (without thumb-rest). , Stern 1995, Toledo Museum, No. 169 (without thumb-rest).

MEROVINGIAN GLASS VESSELS, part of the Migration period

Posted in Uncategorized by Allaire Collection of Glass on May 4, 2020

MEROVINGIAN (5-7th C) is part of the Migration period

The Merovingian dynasty was the ruling family of the Franks from the middle of the 5th century until 751. They first appear as “Kings of the Franks” in the Roman army of northern Gaul. By 509 they had united all the Franks and northern Gaulish Romans under their rule.


Merovingian Glass in the Allaire Collection

Merovingian group 1

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




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