Ancient Glass Blog of The Allaire Collection


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

The following Simpula are from the contubuting collectors to this post.

Below are active links to discription of the simpula pictured

ROMAN SIMPULUM of  Hans van Rossum

ROMAN GLASS SIMPULUM of the The Augustinus Collection of Ancient Glass

ROMAN GLASS SIMPULUM From The Windmill Collection of Roman Glass

Date: First century AD. | From Aquileia or Adriatic Area |  Höricht forma: 17 |

Size: ↑10.81 cm | ↑Cup: 3.0 cm | ø Cup 7.51 cm | Weight: 38 g|

Date: Second half of 1st century – early 2nd century AD | Israel, found in Samaria

Size↑11.5 cm | ø 7.2 cm | Weight 56 g

Date: 1st – early 2nd  Century A.D. ,Adriatic Sea area

Size: H =  7.4 → 10.0  cm, D = 5.7 c

Remarks: Glass simpula or serving spoons are rare. The few glass ladles known from the literature all have an upright grip. The shape of the handle of this one is fairly unique, because the glass blower has, with a number of curves, ensured that this simpulum can also be hung up.  The glass serving spoon is derived from bronze and silver examples, probably mainly made in the Pompeii area. Like the bronze one in the House of Menander and the silver simpulum in the Casa di Lucius Habonius Primus, both with an inward-facing end of the handle for hanging. The dimensions of the glass serving spoons are generally considerably smaller than those of the bronze and silver ones.

Simpula were also depicted on the coins of Roman Emperors in the 1st and 2nd centuries AD. As one of the seven priest attributes of the Emperor in his function as Pontifex Maximus. Special is also a picture on a bronze coin of Empress Lucilla Augusta (163-189 AD) where on the other side is Vesta, Goddess of hearth, home and family, near an altar with a simpulum and a palladium in her hand. The Vestal Virgins lived together in a house near the Forum (Atrium Vestae), supervised by the Pontifex Maximus.

References: I Vetri Romani di Ercolane (Höricht); Magiche Transparenze, I vetri  dell’antica Albingaunum (Massabo), Haevernick, 1977/1981, Modioli, p.367, plate 2., Höricht, 1995, I vetri Romani di Ercolano, Tav. XXVII nos. 2342, 2345, 2347., Lierke, 1999, von Zabern, Antike Glastopferei, Ein vergessenes Kapitel der Glasgeschichte, ISBN: 3-8053- 2442-1. Lazar, 2003, Roman Glass of Slovenia, p 23, from Emona, Mestni muzej Ljubljana. ISBN: 961-6500-18-X.


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

32E, 87E of The Allaire Collection

32E Cristallo wine glass has a bell-shaped bowl decorated with gadrooning and a thin clear glass thread circling the center. Stem Type: A tall hollow “a jambe” meaning like a leg or cigar-shaped stem rests on a merese (collar). The tall narrow stem rests on a wide circular foot.   H: 15.3 cm, Stem H: 5.0 cm, W: 70.8 grams, D: First half of 17th Century, Ref: Lameris, 1991 #82

87E This is a fine and rare Facon de Venise wine glass. It has a flared bowl with gadrooned base. Stem Type: A wrythen hollow knopped stem on a wrythen hollow knopped stem attached to a conical folded foot. Perhaps English, from one of the Duke of Buckingham’s glass houses or from the Netherlands. H: 15.1 cm, Stem H: 6.0 cm, W: 60.5 grams, D: 1650,  Ref: Treasures in Glass, Allentown Art Museum, 1966 #39


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



The most important question to consider before starting is should the glass object be cleaned at all?  Other questions should be asked: Has it been washed previously? Is it weak? Does it show any flaws (manufacturing chill marks or bruises), cracks, or repairs? Does it have cold-painted decoration or a surface that could be damaged by wetting?  Does it reveal a weathering layer (iridescence), damaged enamels, or lifting gilding? Answering yes to any of these questions should make you hesitant about cleaning the glass.

Ancient or archaeological glass should not be washed or cleaned unless it is extremely sound, with no repairs and no weathering. Glass objects in good or sound condition can be safely washed with tap water and a mild conservation-grade detergent (any mild detergent without dyes or perfumes would work), followed by thorough rinsing with de-ionized or distilled water. The glass is then either toweled dried with paper towels or air dried. For some objects, like bottles with narrow openings, the inside is rinsed with a small amount of acetone to help remove moisture. Old adhesives from previous repairs or labels are removed with solvents, mostly acetone, ethanol, or mineral spirits.  

A conservator’s recommendation is to have those cleanings procedure below executed by professional restorers.

This procedure does not purport to address all of the safety concerns, if any, associated with its use for the cleaning of glass object or the user. It is the responsibility of the user of this procedure to establish appropriate safety and health practices and determine the applicability of regulatory limitations prior to use.

Procedure for Washing Glass

Partly fill a plastic tub with tepid water and small amount of mild liquid dish detergent. Gently wash one glass object at a time using a soft brush (plastic handle), soft cotton cloth or paper towel.  Next the object is thoroughly rinsed, either under running water or with the use of a spray. The final rinse, if possible, should be with distilled or deionized water. On a plastic drain board lightly dry with a paper towel and then allow it to air dry. To remove moisture inside objects like bottles use small amount of acetone or ethanol.

Procedure for Removing Calcium Carbonates Accretions from Glass

This type of accretions form from evaporated water and sometime appear as white spots.  It is hard to tell by just looking what the accretions are.  It is recommended that if washing doesn’t clean the object to the level you want then proceed with this step next. Remember ancient and archaeological glass will never be as clean as new glass nor should it be. Calcium carbonate deposits can be best cleaned with dilute (3-5%) solution of nitric acid. Why nitric acid and not vinegar (acetic acid) or another weak acid is the evaporated salt of nitric acid is neutral.  (Caution; wear rubber gloves and protective eyewear when handling acid and work on a plastic drain board or soft surface) Apply the dilute acid with a cotton swab.  In the worst cases, immersion may be necessary.  The deposits may effervesce (bubble) or fizz (CO2), and the deposits will dissolve in water or soften within one or two minutes. Any residues are then cleaned off with soap and water, followed by thorough rinsing.  Other accretions may require mechanical cleaning, which is not recommended. Silicate deposits are rare on glass, but can result from burial.

Silicate accretions: whitish spot on handle and on the body of the vessel shown below. This was left on the glass object after the first cleaning with dilute (3-5%) solution of nitric acid. Cloudiness or the hazy appearance on the surface of glass object seen in the left picture cannot be removed by any of these three methods and may be a stain deposit or a permanent deterioration of the glass surface. The next procedure for removing silicate accretions from glass was not used on the Trulla.-

Procedure for Removing Silicate Accretions from Glass

 Silicate deposits have a similar appearance to those of carbonate deposits, but are not dissolve by acids. These deposits can usually be removed with a dilute alkali (caustic) solution such as 10-15% sodium hydroxide. (Caution; wear rubber gloves and protective eyewear when handling sodium hydroxide and work on a plastic drain board or soft surface) Sodium hydroxide solution should be applied only for short periods (10-30 seconds) using a synthetic brush or cotton swab.  The treatment is to be followed by a thorough rinsing. (Caution; alkalis are extremely slippery, and the glass object should be held firmly in place, not hand-held if possible) Remember ancient and archaeological glass will never be as clean as new glass nor should it be.

The above three procedures can be can be repeated over again until you feel that the glass is as clean as it can be without mechanical cleaning. Cloudiness or the hazy appearance of a glass surface that cannot be removed by any of these methods may not be a stain or deposit but permanent deterioration of the glass surface which cannot be cleaned. Some more cautionary notes, phosphoric and hydrofluoric acid will dissolve silica and certainly attack the glass itself.  Also don’t use commercial products recommended for cleaning glass surfaces (shower doors) on ancient or archaeological glass because you don’t know what is in it.

Additional reading:

Koob-Conservation and Care of Glass Objects, Stephen Koob, The Corning Museum of Glass, 2006

Giffen-Weathered Archaeological Glass, Astrid van Giffen, The Corning Museum of Glass

More information on:  83R ROMAN GLASS TRULLA


Posted in Uncategorized by Allaire Collection of Glass on April 19, 2021






Mid first century AD. Syro-Palestinian, possibly Sidon.
H =6.7 cm. D rim = 6.7 cm. D base = 6.0 cm. Weight 58 gr.

Small repair/restoration and crack at and below rim in area adjacent to letters (ΛΑΒ).

Blown into three-part mold with two vertical sections joined to a disk-shaped base section. Vertical mold-seams running from rim to base through palm leaves.

Transparent pale yellow, thin glass with greenish tinge.
Cylindrical body with unworked rim. Vertical sides with decoration and inscription in a single frieze with a horizontal rib above and below. The inscription ΛΑΒΕ ΤΗΝ ΝΙΚΗΝ
(= take the victory) divided in four equal parts (ΛΑΒ) (ΕΤΗ) (ΝΝΙ) (ΚΗΝ), each part encircled by a knotted oval wreath from which the knot-ribbons stretch to the bottom. In the bottom corners between the first and second and between the third and fourth wreaths are two concentric circles. Between the second and third and between the fourth and first wreaths two vertical palm leaves run, diametrically opposed, from top to bottom, hiding the mold-seams. Base flat with one broad, raised circle with central dot. No pontil mark.

This type of beaker was used by the Romans as a prize for athletic games or for drinking contests.
Donald B. Harden distinguishes in his article in Journal of Roman Studies (1935) three sub-types of cylindrical victory beakers, this one belonging to group K 1 i. Whereas in group K 1 iii many examples were found, in group K 1 i only two examples are known: one in the British Museum and one in the Cinzano Glass Collection, both from or near Melos.

Ex collection of Mr David and Mrs Jennyfer Giles, London, UK.

Lazarus 1974, Cinzano Glass Collection, No. 4.
Harden 1935, The British Museum, plate XXXVI d.


Posted in Uncategorized by Allaire Collection of Glass on April 16, 2021

SALVIATI GLASS in the Allaire Collection

1E Venetian Salviati Goblet

Early Venetian Glass was popular from the 13th-17th century. Then fashions changed with the advent of new types of glass and styles from England, Bohemia and France. Lead crystal glass from England and Bohemia and from France verre de fougère translates to glasses of fern. This name comes from the use of fern ash as a source of the flux material. The Fern wine glasses were in a new lighter and smaller style. Venetian style glass was not popular again until the mid-1800s which was hailed at the time as a renaissance Venetian glassmaking.  Salviati glass is part of a large group of contemporary and very collectable Italian, Venetian, Murano or Art glass from the early nineteenth century to present.  This new Venetian glass is known for its colorful, exuberant, and unique creations. Some of the new Murano glass is in the older Roman and Venetian styles.

Salviati & Co. is a glasshouse in Murano that makes a wide variety of ornamental glassware and tableware, cased, and mosaic glassware, as well as enameled and gilded ware. The glassworks was founded at Murano in 1859 by Dr Antonio Salviati lawyer. Then in 1886 it was purchased by Englishmen who formed a British holding company, Salviati & Co.  This was changed in 1871 to Venice & Murano Glass & Mosaic Co, and in 1877 Antonio Salviati withdrew to found his own glassworks back in the original factory in Murano known as Venice & Murano Glass Co.

Salviati is also a family of glass makers and mosaicists as well as a group of companies.  Their products were sold in the cities of Murano, Venice and London. Today the company is Arc International.

Two good books on this very collectable glass are: Venetian Glass of the 1890’s: Salviati at Stanford University by Carol M. Osborne (2002) and Venetian Glass, Confections in Glass 1855-1914 by Sheldon Barr (1998)

Additional information about Antonio Salviati and Salviati Glassworks in Murano from Wikipedia

A native of Vicenza, Salviati was a lawyer who became interested in glass work after participating in restorations being done on the mosaics of Saint Mark’s Cathedral in Venice. He opened his first glass business in 1859 with Lorenzo Radi, and this firm produced the mosaic glass for the altar screen for the high altar of Westminster Abbey. In 1876, he left this business to establish a new firm which executed the mosaic decoration of the dome of Aachen Cathedral. The designs of this cathedral were based on the ideas of the Belgian architect Jean-Baptiste de Bethune. The Victorian period saw Salviati turn glass pieces, a former staple of wealth only enjoyed by a few, into ornamental pieces seen by millions throughout the homes and parlors of Italy.

During 1866, Antonio Salviati founded Compagnia Venezia Murano with British diplomat and archaeologist Austen Henry Layard. Pauly & C. – Compagnia Venezia Murano has continued to be an important producer of Venetian art glass.

Of particular historical relevance is the mosaic portrait of President Abraham Lincoln, which can be viewed today in the Senate House rooms in the United States, produced by Compagnia Venezia Murano and donated by Antonio Salviati in 1866.

Murano had been a centre of fine glasswork since the Middle Ages (producing the glass that bore its name), but the pieces were lavish and expensive specialty pieces that only the wealthy could afford. Salviati changed the face of the business by becoming the first glass factory owner to employ a large number of skilled workers to mass-produce glass intended for export. The Victorian period saw Salviati turn glass pieces, a former staple of wealth enjoyed by a few, into ornamental pieces seen by millions throughout the homes and parlors of Italy. This re-established Murano as a centre for glass manufacture.


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

58R Roman Coil-Neck Pitcher of The Allaire Collection

Date: 4th Century Size: 11cm,

Near colorless glass pitcher with flaring rim is of petite proportions standing only 11 cm high.  It is decorated with trailing at the rim and base of the neck, the use of darker turquoise glass spirals the body emphasizing the tooled indentations.  There is an applied pad base and single handle which is laid on the shoulder and drawn up and attached at the rim.  Virtually no weathering has marred the clarity of this little glass pitcher.

Ref: No similar Roman glass pitcher was found


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

83R Roman Trulla of The Allaire Collection

Date: Late 1st – early 2nd century A.D. Size: H 9.3 cm D 10.5 cm (rim), 9.3 cm (handle) W 113.5 g

Condition: Intact, Handle repaired in two places Classification: Isings (1957), form 75b

Description: Translucent light green glass bowl, ring base and handle. The bowl has an everted rim with rounded outer lip; tubular flange formed by folding at top of side; hemispherical body; applied, outsplayed, low oval base with rounded outer edge; slightly raised edge to concave bottom. The handle applied as a broad flat strap to edge of rim, with small pinched projection on either side, drawn out horizontally with concave side edges, then pinched off with rough surface marks from pincers on top and bottom. Intact, slight dulling, faint iridescence, and patches of weathering on one side of bowl.  Evidence of some weathering has been removed. No pontil mark present.

Remarks: Pans with handles were widely used in the Roman world, serving as ritual objects in religious ceremonies (D.Whitehouse 1997) and in sets of vessels for drinking (Hilgers 1969)

References: Whitehouse 1997, Corning Museum, No. 346., Hayes 1975, Ontario Museum, No. 148., Arveiller-Dulong 2005, Louvre Museum, No. 36., Massabò 2001, Aquileia Museum, No. 72., Saldern 1974, Oppenländer Collection, No. 557 (p. 241).

Parallel Trulla: Metropolitan Art Museum On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 171 picture below

The following links show additional Trullae on this site.

3.4. The Windmill Collection of Roman Glass    6.Nico F. Bijnsdorp


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

66R Egyptian Glass Bowl of Allaire Collection

Date: 5th – 6th C. AD Size: H 6.5 cm D 10.5 cm

Description: The form of this bowl is typical of those found at Karanis in Faiyum, Egypt. It was made by free blowing the yellowish green glass into a bell-shaped bowl which sits on a large pad base with crisscross tooling on the exterior. It has a small kick and pontil mark on the base.

Ref: Roman Glass in the Corning Museum of Glass vol. 1 # 107 & #109, Fascinating Fragility, Nico Bijnsdorp, P. 401, The Alfred Wolkenberg Collection, Christies’s July 9, 1991 Lot 74, Verres Antiques et De L’Islam, Juin 3 & 4, 1985 Paris, lot 406, Below a similar bowl from The Windmill Collection of Roman Glass

EGYPTIAN DEEP BOWL of The Windmill Collection of Roman Glass

4th-5th Century AD, Egypt (Fayum)
Size: H = 7.7 cm D = 13.8 cm

Classification: III.A.1(b).1 (Harden, Karanis deep bowl)


Description: Free-blown transparent yellowish-green bowl with applied and tooled foot. Pontil mark.

Provenance: The Alfred Wolkenberg Collection 1991

Ref.: Musée du Louvre II, no.1195, D.Whitehouse I no.107, N.F.Bijnsdorp, no.134

Exhibited: Brookes Memorial Art Gallery (Memphis, Tennessee) 1964, Thermen Museum Heerlen (NL), ‘Roman Glass from Private collections’, 29 April-28 August 2011,, Museum Honig Breethuis Zaandijk (NL), ‘Fascinating luxury from Antiquity’, 12 November 2011-30 January, exp. no 10

Published: Michael Milkovich, Ancient Glass from the Alfred Wolkenberg collection (1964) no.58, P.E.Cuperus, A Collection of Roman Glass 2009, no.113, Romeins Glas uit Particulier bezit (2011)


Posted in Uncategorized by Allaire Collection of Glass on April 3, 2021

All of the Glass Shown is From The Allaire Collections

European Misc. Glass

Spanish Glass

Enameled Decorated Glass from USA made in Germany

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