Ancient Glass Blog of The Allaire Collection

ROMAN GLASS LAMP WITH BLUE BLOBS

Posted in Uncategorized by Allaire Collection of Glass on January 29, 2021

57R Roman Lamp with Blue Blobs of the Allaire collection

Height: 8.2 cm  Weight: 43.4g Date: Fourth Century

Description: A pale yellowish-green glass lamp or possibly a cup decorated with a series of blue glass dots. This small lamp has a wheel-cut line circling the body. The object is in excellent condition, intact with very slight weathering.

References: Romische GlasKunst und Wandmalerei, Michael J. Klein, 1999 p. 140, Roman Glass in The Corning Museum of Glass Vol. I, David Whitehouse, 1997 #371

ROMAN GLASS CANDLESTICK BALSAMARIUM

Posted in Uncategorized by Allaire Collection of Glass on January 26, 2021

32R TALL CANDLESTICK BALSAMARIUM of the Allaire collection

32r-candlestick-balsamarium

                                              

Height: 18.5 cm Weight: 52 g  Date: 2-3rd century

Remarks: This ordinary utilitarian blown bottle of pale green glass from the second century takes on an extraordinary appearance.  Weathering has left a beautiful iridescence over virtually the entire glass object. It has a two faint wheel-cut lines circling the body.  The vessel, used for perfume, was designed with a long neck inhibiting evaporation of the precious liquid within.

Condition: Intact with iridescent weathering.

Reference: Ancient Glass in the Yale University Art Gallery, Susan Matheson, 1980 #157, Ancient Glass in the Museum of Fine Arts, Axel von Saldern, Boston, 1968 #47, Ancient Glass in the Israel Museum, The Elihu Dobkin Collection and Other Gifts, Yael Israeli, The Israel Museum Jerusalem, 2003 #254

ROMAN GLASS SPRINKLER FLASK

Posted in Uncategorized by Allaire Collection of Glass on January 23, 2021

09R Mold-Blown Perfume Sprinkler Bottle of the Allaire collection

 

Date: Third-Fourth Century Size: 10 cm Weight: 74g

 

Description: This perfume dropper flask of pale greenish glass was blown into a two part mold with a distinct lattice pattern.  The globular body has a flattened base, short neck with a restriction where it meets the body and sharply flaring mouth. Just below the rim is a narrow folded flange. The brilliant iridescence of this piece greatly enhances its beauty.

Condition: Intact with a repair at base of neck. The object has weathered with beautiful silvery iridescence.

Reference: Ancient Glass the Kofler-Truniger Collection Christie’s London 1985 #45, Barakat-The Barakat Gallery Vol. I, Beverly Hill, 1985 G30& G31, Roman and Pre-Roman Glass in the Royal Ontario Museum, John Hayes, 1975  #280, Ancient and Islamic Glass in the Carnegie Museum of Natural History, Andrew Oliver Jr. Pittsburgh, 1980 # 206

 

ROMAN CYLINDRICAL GLASS BOTTLE

Posted in Uncategorized by Allaire Collection of Glass on January 20, 2021

04R Roman glass bottle in the Allaire Collection of Ancient Glass

 

Date: Third Century A.D. Size: H: 9.8 cm, Rim: 6.5 cm D,

Description: This graceful bottle is completely covered with a shimmering iridescence.  Cylindrical bottles of this period are characterized by two types of mouth: one folded in and flattened and the other more common funnel mouth with folded rim as in this example. Both types of bottles are consistently made of pale green glass.  This kind of iridescence is rare. Found in Turkey.

Condition: intact

Reference: Ancient Glass at the Newark Museum, Susan Auth, 1976 #443, Arveill-Dulong et M-D Nenna, Les verres antiques dumusee du Louvres #1101

 

Equivalent specimen in the The Augustinus Collection of Ancient Glass (active link)  below

 

Date: End 1st – 2nd century Size: ↑ 10.48, 10.29 cm | Ø body: 5.65 cm | Ø Mouth 5.6 cm | Ø Base facet: 4.87cm  Weight: 51.5 g  | Isings form: 102

 

Technique: Free blown cylindrical bottle; rim tooled ; with pontil mark.

Description: Cylindrical flask of translucent white glass. Cylindrical body slightly oval-shaped with short widening neck ending in a flaring rim almost as wide as the body. Rim folded out and inward, flattened creating a sunken neck. Concave base with pontil mark.

Condition: Good, complete, no cracks, some bubbles, with little bluish iridecence, some adhering sand.

Remarks: According to Isings, form 102, two varieties do exist: one has a rim folded outward and inward, flattened afterwards. The other has a more funnelshaped mouth, with a rim folded inward and rounded. It usually has a thick coil below the rim. While this version does not have the coil, it has the funnelshaped mouth and can be regarded a mixture of both types.

Provenance: From a private dutch collection, first publication. No specific data of provenance known.

Reference: Equivalent specimens come from: Musée du Louvre, Trier Museum, Cologne Museum, Nijmegen Museum Kam and Princeton University Art Museum, Allaire collection 04R Roman glass bottle.

 

COLLECTORS’ EXAMPLES OF VERY RARE FORMS OF GLASS OBJECTS

Posted in Uncategorized by Allaire Collection of Glass on January 17, 2021

An explanation of what is considered a very rare form & example for this post.  The examples shown are objects which have only a very few parallels in Museums or in the literature.  The monetary value of these examples were not part of the criteria for choosing.

A VENETIAN TOASTMASTER’S OR DECEPTIVE GLASS WITH SPIKED GADROONS

Elisabeth & Theo Zandbergen

 

SEALED ARYBALLOS

Hans van Rossum

MELTED ROMAN GLASS PERFUME BOTTLE

Hans van Rossum

 

 

DECORATED PYXIS OR JAR

Hans van Rossum

 

DECORATED PYXIS OR JAR

ROMAN ASKOS

Nico F. Bijnsdorp

 

 

DOUBLE-BODIED JUGLET

Nico F. Bijnsdorp

 

SNAIL RHYTON

Nico F. Bijnsdorp

 

Roman glass snail rhyton

 

BOWL WITH DIAMOND-SHAPED MOTIFS

Nico F. Bijnsdorp

 

nfb-254

 

FOUR CORE-FORMED FISH SHAPED GLASS BEADS

The Augustinus Collection of Ancient Glass

 

 

ROMAN GLASS BOWL WITH FACET DECORATION

The Augustinus Collection of Ancient Glass

 

 

ROEMER WITH SPHERICAL PRUNTS

The Allaire Collection of Roman Glass

 

50E Roemer with Spherical Prunts C. 1650-1675 H 12cm

 

FACON de VENISE TRICK GOBLET

The Allaire Collection of Roman Glass

 

89E Facon de Venise trick glass C. 1650

BLUE ROMAN GLASS BOTTLE AND THE EIN GEDI VESSEL

Posted in Uncategorized by Allaire Collection of Glass on January 13, 2021

R17 Blue Roman Bottle of The Allaire Collection

Date: Early first century, Size H: 13 cm

 

Description: This beautiful deep blue Roman glass bottle follows the very popular trend for colored glass during the First Century. Blown paper thin into a simple yet elegant shape, it has an elongated globular body and tall neck ending in cracked off fire polished rim precisely worked. The bottle was amazingly repaired using mostly the original pieces.

Ref: Roman and Pre-Roman Glass in the Royal Ontario Museum, John Hayes, 1975 #115, Ancient and Islamic Glass, Paris, Loudmer, Kevorkian 1985 #149

Remarks:

Until about 50 B.C. glass objects could only be made slowly due to the limited techniques available. One bottle could take several days to make via casting or cutting techniques. Core-formed objects may have taken 45 minutes to create. Glass furnace technology was such that only small amounts of glass could be made at one time. Because it was difficult and time-consuming to make, glass was a luxury item as rare as gold or precious stones.  Around 300 BC the Syrians invented the iron blowpipe.  But why someone thought you could blow a glass bubble with it is a mystery.  It may have been a Jeweler who used the blowpipe in his craft. Most likely it was an accident.

The situation quickly changed with the discovery of glassblowing in about 50 B.C. Romans, probably in Phoenicia (now the region of modern Lebanon), discovered that an object could be formed by gathering molten glass on the end of a pipe and inflating it. The glass could then be shaped into nearly any form with simple tools. By about 50 A.D., glassblowers knew how to blow glass into hollow molds to form even more innovative shapes.

In addition to the advancement of glassblowing, glassworkers also had the benefit of new glass furnace technology. One known excavated tank furnace could melt up to 40 tons of glass at one time! Compare this with the size of the glass ingots coming from Egyptian furnaces beforehand, which were only a few pounds.

As with earlier methods of glassmaking in Egypt, Mesopotamia, and Greece, the Roman glassmaker and the glassworker were working in two separate trades. Glassmakers would melt the glass, allow it to harden and cool in the tank, and then break it into chunks to ship to glassworkers. These glassworkers would then remelt the chunks at a lower temperature and fashion glass objects.

For the first time, because of the abundance of material and the new technique of glassblowing, a glassworker could produce dozens of objects per day.

Another advantage the Roman glassblower enjoyed was the potential market of the seemingly endless Roman Empire, including modern-day Europe, North Africa, and the eastern Mediterranean. Blown glass was now quickly made, affordable, and easily attainable.

What did these first glass-blown vessel or bottle look like?

No one knows for sure. We are suggesting that perhaps these first blown bottles look something like R 17 above.  Later Roman blown bottle came with a more restricted neck. The inspiration for this thought came from a demonstration by William Gudenrath and his three-minute Roman glass bottle.  Mr. Gudenrath is (Resident Advisor for the Corning Museum of Glass) a glassblower, scholar, author, lecturer, and teacher. He is recognized internationally as one of the foremost authorities on glassmaking techniques of the ancient world through the 18th century. He has spent many decades studying specific works in glass in an attempt to determine how they were made. As such, he was monikered the “glass detective” by the Associated Press. This is an active link to that demonstration. In this older clip a pontil was use to make the bottle.  In a later demonstration Bill uses a simple clamplike device (sometimes called a “snap” or “gadget”) to finish to rim.

 

Later First-Century B.C. Evidence from the Judean Desert the Ein Gedi bottle

The Ein Gedi bottle. Mid-first century B.C. H. about 12.7 cm. The Israel Museum, Jerusalem. Photo: © The Israel Museum, Jerusalem/by Peter Lany.

 

A small, thin, long-necked bottle of transparent slightly greenish yellow glass was found near Ein Gedi in Israel’s Judean Desert in 1961 (Fig. 4). I was allowed to handle and study the piece in 2008, and I can confirm that it was certainly made by glassblowing. The bottle has a surprisingly early date: mid-first century B.C., according to a 1983 publication by Nahman Avigad. More recently, the date has been moved forward somewhat.

The Ein Gedi Bottle Video shows the rim being finished while the vessel is held with a simple clamplike device (sometimes called a “snap” or “gadget”). During this procedure, the bottle can still be hot, having just been broken free of the blowpipe, or it can be at room temperature well after annealing. The pontil is arguably a slightly later invention, because the earliest blown vessels are without pontil marks.

A small, thin, long-necked bottle of transparent slightly greenish yellow glass was found near Ein Gedi in Israel’s Judean Desert in 1961 (Fig. 4). I was allowed to handle and study the piece in 2008, and I can confirm that it was certainly made by glassblowing. The bottle has a surprisingly early date: mid-first century B.C., according to a 1983 publication by Nahman Avigad. More recently, the date has been moved forward somewhat.

The Ein Gedi Bottle Video shows the rim being finished while the vessel is held with a simple clamplike device (sometimes called a “snap” or “gadget”). During this procedure, the bottle can still be hot, having just been broken free of the blowpipe, or it can be at room temperature well after annealing. The pontil is arguably a slightly later invention, because the earliest blown vessels are without pontil marks. Active link to a demonstration of how the Ein Gedi bottle thought to be made.

 

This an active link to an additional lecture on Roman glass and the Roman glass making Ennion by Bill Gudenrath.

 

Some of this information is from papers published by the Corning Museum of Glass and from their Web site.

 

 

 

 

 

ROMAN GLASS TRAILED JUG

Posted in Uncategorized by Allaire Collection of Glass on January 10, 2021

TRAILED JUG of Hans van Rossum

 

                                                               Date: Second half of 1st century A.D. | Northwestern part of the Roman Empire Size: ↑ 13.5 cm | ø 7.7 cm | Weight 44 g

Technique: Free blown, handle and trail applied

Condition: Intact, some weathering and iridescence

Description: Transparent pale-green, almost colorless glass; pear-shaped body, decorated with a continuous line of very fine and opaque light blue trail, wound spirally clockwise from neck to lower part of body, in nineteen revolutions with one renewal; cylindrical neck, widening toward body. Round mouth, rim folded outward. A bifurcated handle of opaque light blue glass applied to the shoulder and attached to underside of rim making a double fold and forming a thumb-rest. Pushed-in base   with hollow tubular base-ring and no pontil scar.

Remarks: I Identical examples are rare and not easy to find. The most striking parallel is lot no. 478, Verres Antiques et de l’Islam, Ancienne Collection de Monsieur D. (1985) The description of this jug suggests it was a product from Gaul or Rhineland but this is not substantiated. No comparable examples are known or described in the numerous books about ancient Roman glass in Gaul or Rhineland. The description of no. 478 has only one reference, no. 175 of the Royal Ontario Museum but unfortunately their reference is based on a total different form.

Remarks: II Only a few identical examples are known. One of the known comparable trailed jugs may refer to Gaul, based on the typical ”Gaulish color”; yellow green. Another example            could be a product of Gaul or Rhineland, based on the written information. Two identical examples may refer to a production in Rhineland or Northern Italy. First one: based on the bluish-green color of the glass and the second one because of the opaque blue glass for the handle and the trial. Two other identical examples have characteristics (color) for a production in the eastern Mediterranean. This trailed jug with light blue glass for the trail and the handle is exceedingly rare, no striking parallel with these characteristics could be found.

Provenance: Roseberys London, Auction 22 October 2020 lot no. 13 Property of a lady, purchased in 1987 from Hans Peter Trimbacher in Texing, Austria. Mr. Trimbacher (1933 – 2003) was the owner of Schloss Plankenstein in Texingtal, Austria which he acquired in 1975 when it was still a ruin. He renovated this castle totally by his own. On 30 October 2020 I got a mail from Mr. Podstany of Schloss Plankenstein in which he confirmed that Mr. Trimbacher exhibited some really interesting pieces at Burg Plankenstein. Probably to own extra money for the restoration, he sold some of those antiquities, among which this trailed jug.

References: 2000 Jahre antikes Glas, Schmuck und Alltagsgerät, V. Gedzevičiüté, M. Knief, I. Wehgartner 2010, no. 4 Glasses of Antiquity, Fortuna Fine Arts Ltd. 2002 no. 65 Verres Antiques et de l’Islam, Ancienne Collection de Monsieur D., G. Loudmer & A. – M. Kevorkian 3 & 4 June 1985 lot 478

A VENETIAN GLASS MILLEFIORI BALL OR SPHERE

Posted in Uncategorized by Allaire Collection of Glass on January 7, 2021

Venetian Millefiori sphere on brass pedestal

 of the Henk-Martin Goldschmidt collection

 

Description: The sphere has a millefiori core within clear glass and formed from an assortment of composite canes in blue, red, green, white, turquoise and yellow canes and with a small gold foil inclusion.  It is pierced through the centre and mounted on a gilt metal pedestal and surmounted with a gilded figure of a Bacchic boy on a barrel. The brass foot has a mark on the bottom, part of which can be read as ‘20’.

Date and origin of manufacture: 16th or early 17th century, Venice, Italy.

Dimensions: 12.9 cm high overall, ball 3.5 cm diameter.

Condition: The glass sphere is fractured.

 Provenance: Auctioned at Bonhams previously on 20 May 2015, lot 8, there after acquired at Bonhams, November 2018, lot 17.

Function: Millefiori glass was made by the Romans and the techniques as well as the shape revived in the 16th century, starting in Italy. Spheres of millefiori canes survived in many collections and they have been mounted in a number of different ways. A hole was drilled through it and they were either used as a pendant (e.g. page 63 TL) or a table piece in which case the sphere is mounted on a metal pedestal. From various inventories it seemed a sought after collector’s item. In case of millefiori paperweights the appearance is much more frequent.

Parallels glass sphere: Related millefiori spheres are in a number of collections.

–  One with identical canes to this ball is in the British Museum (ref. no. WT.1154). The diameter is 3.5 cm, the millefiori decoration includes some small gold elements, a small pierced hole through centre, dated 17th century with Venice as the production place.

– The Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam holds a similar sphere, again with identical canes, mounted between silver rosettes from a latter date; 4.1 cm in diameter, 16th century made in Venice.

– Others are in the Historisches Museum, Basel (illustrated by Landolt and Ackermann (1991), no.61) and in Veste Coburg, discussed at length by Anna-Elisabeth Theuerkauff-Liederwald, Venezianisches Glas der Kunstsammlungen der Veste Coburg (1994), pp.62-67. They clearly have another internal composition. However the Coburg collection holds two pedestals, one with a negroid person on top and the other with a female person mounted (both dated 16th century, Venice). Total height per item 8.7 cm, resp. 17.5 cm while the diameter was 7.8 cm and 5.0 cm respectively.

– The Corning museum has a multicolored glass sphere with a diameter of 5,1 cm, within a pendant construction, dated 1550 – 1600 AD with Venice as the place it was made (2004.3.44 accession number).

– Two further examples were sold by Bonhams on 3 November 2016, lot 22 and 15 November 2017, lot 1. Both 16th or early 17th century. Lot 22: Sphere with an assortment of composite canes in blue, red, green, purple, white, turquoise and amber; the canes set into a core of gold foil, all enclosed within clear glass, the sphere has a 3.4 cm diameter, pierced through the centre and mounted between silver florets and with a metal suspension ring, identical canes and size as the sphere described here. Lot 1: Sphere has a scrambled arrangement of composite canes in green, blue, brick-red, purple, white, turquoise and amber, some of the canes set into a fragment of gold foil and all enclosed within clear glass, a 4.3 cm diameter, pierced through the centre and mounted between silver-gilt ‘Tudor Roses” linked by a silver-gilt strap possibly for suspension (some abrasion, internal flaws probably from manufacture).

Parallel brass pedestal: The British museum houses a table ornament in the form of a youthful naked Bacchus on a barrel holding a cup, it was made in Nuremberg (Germany) in 1590 to circa 1602 (museum number WB. 131). The resemblance with the brass figure on the pedestal is striking.

Discussion:Millefiori glass has been studied for years. Especially in 1985 and 1986 the papers of Cesare Moretti and Heikamp were groundbreaking. Ten years later Anna-Elisabeth Theuerkauff-Liederwald published a thorough investigation of many of the millefiori glass spheres known. Various terms were in use for this phenomena such as glass mosaic (vetro mosaico), murrine (colored glass images made into a glass cane, images are revealed when the cane is cut into thin cross-sections), sometimes the canes were characterized as ‘canne rosette’.

Millefiori: Mullefiori literally means  “thousand flowers” in Italian and refers to multicolored cane glassware. This is an originally Italian glass decoration technique dating back to the 15th century. Different colored small pieces of glass are regularly arranged and fused together for a mosaic-like effect. Known are the paperweights with millefiori. The evidence of the first multifiori spheres made around 1500 is impressive, however the dating of the individual items is not.

Detail of Venetian Millefiori sphere on brass pedestal

 of the Henk-Martin Goldschmidt collection

Millefleurs: Millefleurs literally means “thousand flowers” in French and refers to a background made of many small flowers and plants. It was a particularly popular motif in tapestries and other applied arts and crafts in the Middle Ages in Europe. The millefleur style enjoyed the greatest popularity in French and Flemish tapestries from the late 15th and early 16th centuries. The best-known examples are The Lady and the Unicorn and The Hunt for the Unicorn.

A detail of ‘Millefleurs tapestry with birds’ (height 163 cm x width 107 cm), southern Netherlands, circa 1510. This tapestry is woven in wool and silk: warp in wool and weft in wool and silk (very little). It is here merely shown to enable a comparison with the millefiori Venetian design. Where the Venetian glass artist influenced by these designs or are we looking at developments on parallel pathways?

Detail of Flemish Millefleurs tapestry

 of the Henk-Martin Goldschmidt collection

So the Venetian artists were for sure well aware of the millefleur tapestries. However, when conceiving their millefiori works they were not named as such. This was only done in the 19th century. The term they used was ‘mosaic glass’.

Conclusion: The main conclusion it that there are more questions as answers left. Many of the millefiori spheres viewed have similar cane parts enclosed. Apart from the inventories they were mentioned, there is no real evidence that they are Venetian and 16th or early 17th century of age. Their use, as a pendant and table piece however makes sense.  The writing of Theuerkauff-Liederveld, based upon the work of Cesare Moretti, provides a descriptive, detailed survey of these glass spheres. Probably only several dozen millefiori spheres are left over the years. A comprehensive study describing the canes used, the colors present and the XRF spectra measured would probably provide some answers. Until now we classify this millefiori sphere pedestal as Venetian around 1600 with a metal holder added on a latter date on another location.

References:

– Venezianisches Glas der Veste Coburg, Anna-Elisabeth Theuerkauff-Liederwald, Luca Verlag Lingen, 1994, pages 58-73, an extensive description of the phenomenon, plates on pages 90 and 91.

– Glass in the Rijksmuseum, Pieter C Ritsema van Eck, Henrica M Zijlstra-Zweens, volume 1, pp 12-111, fig page 244, cat number 6.

– Fine Glass and paperweights, Bonhams 20th May 2015, page 9, lot 8 as well as 14th November 2018, lot 17.

– Bonhams British and European Ceramics and Glass, 3 November 2016, lot 22, Bonhams Fine Glass and British Ceramics, 15 November 2017, lot 1.

– Masterpieces of Tapestry, From the fourteenth to the sixteenth century. An exhibition at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Thomas Hoving, Francis Salet and Genevieve Souchal, 1974, numbers 32 – 49.

SMALL MEROVINGIAN GLASS BOWL

Posted in Uncategorized by Allaire Collection of Glass on January 4, 2021

Small Merovingian Glass Bowl

From

The Windmill Collection of Roman Glass

Date 5th- early 6th Century A.D.  Size H = 4.0 cm  Dia = 9.0 cm, Weight 30 G.

Classification

Feyeux 81.0;  F. Siegmund, Niederrhein phase 5; Franken AG late phase 5 and 6; Rural Riches RR 4.10

Provenance  

Private collection North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany

Description

Free-blown semi-spherical light greenish dish or drinking bowl with a tangle of stripes in the glass in the surface. The walls are curved upwards from the bottom and slightly outwards at the edge. The edge is finished round in the fire, the bottom rises slightly in the middle and has a pontil mark.

Condition Completely intact

Remarks Isings (1957) reports that Frankish / Merovingian dishes are a natural continuation of Roman examples (form 116). J.F Feyeux (1995) distinguishes two types, namely shape 80 without finished edge and 81, rounded in the reheated fire (such as this bowl). Most specimens are yellow or greenish in color, with or without imposed enamel threads and decoration. Distribution area mainly in the Rhineland, Moselle and Gaul, the smallest comparable dish, found in Northeast Gaul, has a size of 3.4 cm high – 7.1 cm wide (Musée St. Germain-en-Laye).  Musée d’Epernay has a bowl 5.3 cm high and 11.9 cm wide that was found in 1933 together with two fibulae. Musée de Troyes also has a bowl that was found together with two fibulae.

A FAÇON DE VENISE WINEGLASS

Posted in Uncategorized by Allaire Collection of Glass on January 1, 2021

A Façon de Venise wineglass

of the Henk–Martin Goldschmidt collection

a wineglass possibly from Spain

Description: A smoke-colored goblet, thin-walled glass. Disc base with pontil and rim folded down. On the hollow baluster shaft and on the dome base waffle-like thread supports. The expanded cup with an optical net pattern. Decoration: nipt diamond waies (nipt diamond-wise). The twelve, originally vertical ribs, were on six levels with a pair of tweezers pinched towards each other. The cup is blown into a mold to create the ribs that were then pinched together. Not double but a single glass layer. The coloring is transparent with a hint of orange or reddish, definitely not grey.

Condition: perfect, no restorations, no repair on the upper rim or elsewere.

Remark: Form and appearance may be of Spanish origin. But the lower end of the stem in particular could be the southern Netherlands. So Façon de Venise; it was known that the Spanish as well as the Flemish glassworkers travelled throughout Europe.

Date: façon de Venise, last half 16th, first half 17th century.

Material: soda glass

Dimensions:  Height 13,0 cm, diameter opening 7,0 cm, diameter basis 8,3 cm, inwards folded rim. The cup houses 12 pinched threads as well as 10 waffles. The hollow tapered stem is decorated with 9 waffles. Weight 104 gram and 155 ml capacity. Lightness ratio = volume in ml / weight in gr; is calculated as 1.5 ml/gr.

Origin: The origin of this rare goblet has been the subject of much debate; opinions about the place of manufacture differ widely. At Christie’s, an auction after the Second World War, the glass was assigned to Hall in Tirol, and dated the end of the 16th century. A production in the southern Netherlands or southern France / Spain is also a possibility, is what the Fischer catalogue presents. They provide no information on the provenance. Hard to define therefore, so we looked for parallels. The Corning Museum Of Glass (59.3.50, Collection of The Corning Museum of Glass, Corning, NY, USA.) has a glass of transparent greenish glass with pincered opaque white decorations, a twisted bowl and pattern-moulded knop. It is marked as from Cataluña, eighteenth century and has a height of 11.1 cm. It is called a wineglass as well as a salt cellar. A wineglass was found in the collection of the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam (page 38, number 35, Glass in het Rijksmuseum, Volume I, P.C. Ritsema van Eck, H.M. Zijlstra-Zweens, 1993) with identical as well as the same number of vertical ribs. But no waffles were present. This glass was described as Dutch Façon de Venice and second half 17 th century.

59.3.50, Collection of The Corning Museum of Glass

The glass with the three arrays of pincered discs decorations emerging from the outer surfaces has definitely some resemblance (plate 27B). It is dated as eighteenth century and Cataluña. It is at the Corning museum of Glass, NY. Drinking glasses of this period are so diverse in shape and style that they are not easily described. Two functions are attributed to this item: a wineglass and a saltcellar. Looking at the practical use this item could probably have served as a saltcellar much more as a wineglass. However the item descripted here can only be a drinking glass, it handles fine and the waffle decoration does not influence in a negative way the functionality as a drinking glass.

Discussion: the technique of pincered waffle decorations is quiet common in Spanish Façon de Venise glass during the early nineteenth century, but also 17th  and 18th  century (Spanish Glass by Alice Wilson Frothingham, plates 27B, 32A, 43 and 48A). However the questions unanswered pile up. What is the origin? Until now we have the feeling this glass is from Cataluña due to its stylish characteristics, however the stem form is not typically Spanish much more Flemish, especially the part between the cup and the lower part of the stem. What is the production period? Judging the glass structure and its color it could be as early the last half of the 16th century but the parallel glass is classified as 18th century. Quiet a margin though.

Conclusion: So the look and feel of the glass does fit with a Spanish origin, however the color appears a lot in France and Belgium.  Maybe a study specifically focused on the various waffles types (some of the Spanish items do have softened waffles) and  / or a XRF analysis would help here. The crimps applied could also point towards a possible production site.

Provenance: Christie’s auction house, London, acquired through Dr Fischer Kunstauktionen, March 21th 2020, lot # 20.

References:

– Spanish Glasss by Alice Wilson Frothingham, Faber, London, 1963, illustration 27B, description on page 49 (date eighteenth century), chapter 2 ‘Cataluña and neighbouring regions’, page 137, salt dish (#11).

– Spanish glass in the hermitage by Michailowa, O., Aurora Art Publishers, Leningrad, 1970 (plates 30 – 47 from Andalusia, # 55  – 98) with many waffle applications.

– Beyond Venice, glass in venetian style 1500 – 1750 by Jutta-Anette Page a.o., CMOG, New York, 2004, pp 84 – 141.

– Europäisches Glass und Studioglas, Dr. Fischer Kunstauktionen, 278 Auktion, March 21st 2020, page 11, lot 20.

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