Ancient Glass Blog of The Allaire Collection


Posted in Uncategorized by Allaire Collection of Glass on May 27, 2022

The Roman Glass Cinerary Urn

This was a vessel to contain the ashes of the deceased.  Urns of this kind, varied in shape and style, many were made of glass from the 1st to 4th century.  One type of glass urn has an ovoid body, with a flat base, a wide mouth and usually two massive loop-handles up from the shoulder; the cover is conical with a small flat cap.  The caps or lids also varied in shape and style. Some of the urns were also without handles or just one.  From: An Illustrated Dictionary of Glass, Harold Newman



Cinerary Urn Lids A Variety of Shapes and Styles

All photos from: Altino Glass of the Venetian Lagoon, Rosa Barovier Mentasti, Margherits Tirelli, editors, 2010

Click on these active links to see additional information on Cinerary Urns on this blog.




Posted in Uncategorized by Allaire Collection of Glass on May 23, 2022

Three Ribbed Roman Glass Unguentaria


The Windmill Collection of Ancient Glass

Date:1st- – 2nd , Century A.D., Eastern Mediterranea

Sizes:   a. blue              ↑ 6.0 cm           Ø  4.0 cm

            b. transparent  ↑ 8.0 cm           Ø  4.9 cm

           c. purple           ↑ 6.0 cm           Ø  4.0 cm

Weight: Appr. 12-20 gr.


Free blown miniature unguentaria of royal blue, almost colorless transparent, respectively purple color. Decorated on the body with seven (a), eight (b) and 8 (c) fine vertical ribs. The cylindrical neck ends in a folded outward (and inwardly) folded edge. The underside is flattened and has no pontil mark.


Isings (1957), form 26b


Completely intact with beautiful iridescence.


Blue ribbed unguentarium: Gershon Bineth collection, Tel-Aviv (Israel)

Transparent ribbed unguentarium : Private collection, London (United Kingdom)

Purple ribbed unguentarium: Polony Fremersdorf, Cologne (Germany)

Published (Blue unguentarium)

Romeins Glas uit particulier bezit’ (2011), p. 62, 53, 70.


Posted in Uncategorized by Allaire Collection of Glass on May 18, 2022

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 May 13, 2022

Roman Glass Tazza

from the collection of

Elisabeth & Theo Zandbergen collection

Dimensions: H 5,5 cm; ø foot 4,4 cm; ø cuppa 11 cm; weight 23 grams.

Origin: Probably Eastern Mediterranean end 3rd early 4th CE.? Nazareth? Could be Karanis.

Description: This quite rare free-shaped glass, made from green glass, has a hemispherical cuppa, today one could also call this a tazza, has been formed from one glass gathering. In the process the stem was formed by a form of pinching the stem section, making it a solid stem but leaving a hollow foot. The object has all the characteristics of a funeral gift with the iridescence on one side and the deposits on the other.

Remark: In the sales catalogue this quite rare glass was called a champagne glass. Going with what we knew about champagne we thought that seems strange. As far as we knew champagne was for the first time produced in a “still” form in the 16th century and in the sparkling version around 1680. After the “invention” of the sparkling form people couldn’t get enough of it. But, thanks to René van Beek of the Allard Pierson Museum we learned that sparkling wines were already produced in Roman times. He wrote: Most likely the Romans applied a form of double fermentation on amphora’s creating the “bubbly” effect. In the first century the Roman poet Lucanus called this wine “bullulae” being, as generally thought, the term for a sparkling wine.

Collecting glass, amongst others from Roman times is more than just adding another nice object to the collection. Along these lines being educated in all kinds of social aspects of life in Roman times.

Parallels amongst others:

  • Mattheson, Ancient glass in the Yale University Gallery pg.99 nr.261,
  • Johns Hopkins Museum JHUAM HT 1356, (Nazareth, Israel), thanks to the info

             from another collector,

  • Whitehouse, Corning Museum of Glass, Vol.II, pg.157, nr.676,

              however, a two-piece construction so to see,

  • Morin-Jean, La Verrerie en Gaule sous l’Empire Romain pg.164

Provenance: Ex Prof. Ehud Malberger collection, Haifa Archeological Center Ltd. Dr. Robert Deutsch auction 64, lot nr. 335

Remark: Our dear departed friend David Giles saw this glass in the Malberger collection. What better provenance would one like to have.


Posted in Uncategorized by Allaire Collection of Glass on May 9, 2022



1st century AD | Eastern Mediterranean

Size↑7.2 cm | ø 5.4 cm | Weight 32 g

Technique: Free-blown, handles applied

Classification: Barag 1970, Type 9.1

Description: Transparent manganese glass. The thin-walled aryballos with slightly squat globular
body, cylindrical neck and flaring folded rim. Rim folded inward. Flat base, slightly
concave at center, no pontil mark. Two bifurcated handles of marbled blue glass
applied on the shoulder, drawn up, folded down and up against upper neck and rim.

Condition: Intact, rainbow-colored and fine silvery iridescence; perfect condition

Remarks: Most thin-walled aryballoi are bichrome or polychrome, the body is one-color and the handles and/or rim are of a contrasting color. Bifurcated handles are specific characteristics for early blown aryballoi.

Provenance: Jerusalem art market; Sasson Ancient Art Ltd. 2011
Sasson private collection, Israel

Published: Archaeological Center Tel Aviv, auction 49, 15 December 2010 lot 117

Reference: Ancient Glass in the Israel Museum, The Eliahu Dobkin Collection and Other Gifts,
Y. Israeli no. 333
Ancient Glass in the Hermitage Collection, N. Kunina cat. no. 343
Kunst der Antike, Galerie Günter Puhze, Katalog 23 no. 154
Roman, Byzantine and Early Medieval Glass, Ernesto Wolf Collection, E. M. Stern, no. 14 (different rim)

Late Umayyad Glass Jar with Triangle Shaped Decorations

Posted in Uncategorized by Allaire Collection of Glass on May 4, 2022

Late Umayyad Glass Jar with Triangle Shaped Decorations


Henk-Martin Goldschmidt collection

Date: 8th century CE. Dimensions: height: 7.6 cm, maximal diameter 6.6 cm, weight 62 gram, content 110 ml.


Jar with rounded rim marked on the base with globular body and a short funnel-shaped sprout.  Vessel made of brownish clear glass with trail decoration. A brown-green trail applied in a zigzag to the upper part of the body; 15 V-forms from a thin thread into much more thick. Below it, a row of irregular, curved triangles formed from a light brown trail (five times) as well as from a brown-green trail (five times as well), alternately. The triangles were also alternately upright and upside down. Honey brown and olive green are the colors present.


A fragment was added to the spout, otherwise in good condition. Dark brownish weathering crust.


The concave disk base has a pontil mark. The jar was free blown and edited with tools. The decorations in two colors required experienced craftsmanship as well as high-level technical facilities. The triangle-shaped forms were applied under heat, fused with the corpus resulting in a bumpy interior. Identical as is the case with the prunes of the so-called roemer glasses.


The Isings’ form classification system (1957) only covers the first four centuries CE. So it cannot be used to classify this form with these decorations. However form 104b is closest: flask with funnel mouth with a body without base ring.


Eastern Mediterranean era, 7th – 8th century CE (according to Na’ama Brosh). Previously it was customary to date these vessels to the 5th and 6th century, the end of the Byzantine period. However according to Na’ama Brosh they were manufactured during the late Umayyad period, i.e. the 8th century. A period of several centuries was covered with these vessels with applied decoration that were found in the Jordan-Palestine-Israel region. In the 9th century these bottles were also produced in Iraq and Iran, possibly inspired by those made in the Jordan-Palestine-Israel region.

Provenance: In the past collection Frederic Neuburg, Tel Aviv, then Lempertz Auction 609, 1985, lot 2364, thereafter Lempertz Auction 756, 1998 and eventually Gorny and Mosch, Münich, Auction 222, 2014, lot 144 and acquired in April 2022 from Leon Vrancken, Eijsden, The Netherlands.


– Beat Rütti, 3000 Jahre Glaskunst, Ausstellung Luzern (1981), page 124 – 125, 515 and 518.

– Catalogues from Lempertz and Gorny and Mosch catalogue 222, pages 132 – 133.

– Clasina Isings, Roman Glass from dated finds, PhD thesis University of Utrecht, 1957, pages 122 – 125.

– Na’ama Brosh in Ancient Glass in the Israel museum, The Eliahu Dodkin collection and other gifts, Vessels with applied decoration, Early Islamic Glass, page 333, on page 335, figures 434 and 435.

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