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Ancient Glass

Ancient glass making began in Egypt and the Mesopotamian region around 1500 B.C. Glass beads and inlays were even used on King Tutankhamen's mask. The earliest vessels were produced by forming melted glass on a clay core in the shape of the desired vessel. Hot threads of contrasting color were wrapped around the vessel, pressed, and combed to create a wavy pattern. The clay core was removed after cooling. The Augustan age of the Roman empire and invention of the blowpipe in Sidonian Phoenicia marked a turning point in glass production. Output could be increased a thousandfold with the introduction of new, exciting shapes. This technique quickly spread to Italy, and then throughout the empire. Roman glass was so popular that most Romans owned glass objects, and much has survived and is available today at reasonable prices.

Christie's, Ancient Glass, The Kolfer-Truniger Collection, 5 March 1985

|Glass| |Antiquities|, |Christie's,| |Ancient| |Glass,| |The| |Kolfer-Truniger| |Collection,| |5| |March| |1985|NEW
Kolfer-Truniger collection of ancient Glass; includes tiles, free-blown glass, mold-blown glass vessels, cameo fragments, mosaic glass, etc. from the Byzantine empire, Roman, Hellenistic, Egyptian, and Mediterranean.
BC22502. Christie's, Ancient Glass, The Kolfer-Truniger Collection, 5 March 1985, hardback, 174 pages with 348 lots mostly illustrated in color and all described in detail, international shipping at actual cost of shipping; $40.00 (€36.80)
 


Shining Vessels, Fortuna Fine Arts 1991

|Glass| |Antiquities|, |Shining| |Vessels,| |Fortuna| |Fine| |Arts| |1991|NEW
Ancient class from Greek, Roman and Islamic times. 1991 catalog.
BL22494. Shining Vessels, Fortuna Fine Arts 1991, card cover, 109 pages, color illustrated, cover marks, wear, international shipping at actual cost of shipping; $10.00 (€9.20)
 


Glasses of Antiquity, Fortuna Fine Arts, 2002

|Glass| |Antiquities|, |Glasses| |of| |Antiquity,| |Fortuna| |Fine| |Arts,| |2002|NEW
Ancient class from Greek, Roman and Islamic times. 1991 catalog.
BL22495. Glasses of Antiquity, Fortuna Fine Arts, 2002, card cover, color illustrated, cover marks, wear, international shipping at actual cost of shipping; $10.00 (€9.20)
 


Journal of Glass Studies, The Corning Museum of Glass, Volume 1 1959

|Antiquities| |Books|, |Journal| |of| |Glass| |Studies,| |The| |Corning| |Museum| |of| |Glass,| |Volume| |1| |1959|
From the library of Alex J. Malloy. An annual publication that records the discoveries, interpretations, acquisitions and publications which affect the art and history of glassmaking.
BC22478. Journal of Glass Studies, The Corning Museum of Glass, Volume 1, 1959, large, softcover, cover wear, age, international shipping at cost; $2.00 (€1.84)
 


Journal of Glass Studies, The Corning Museum of Glass, 16 Volumes, 1959 - 1978

|Antiquities| |Books|, |Journal| |of| |Glass| |Studies,| |The| |Corning| |Museum| |of| |Glass,| |16| |Volumes,| |1959| || |-| |1978|
From the library of Alex J. Malloy. An annual publication that records the discoveries, interpretations, acquisitions and publications which affect the art and history of glassmaking. Includes issues from 1959 - 1962, 1964 - 1966, 1968, 1969, 1971 -1976, and 1978.
BC21943. Journal of Glass Studies, The Corning Museum of Glass, 16 Issues, 1959 - 1978, large, softcover, some cover wear, tear and age, international shipping at cost; $16.00 (€14.72)
 


Ancient Glass in Winchester, by J. D. Le Couteur

|Antiquities| |Books|, |Ancient| |Glass| |in| |Winchester,| |by| |J.| |D.| |Le| |Couteur|
An endeavor to make a complete record of the remains of ancient painted glass in as of 1920.
BK21945. Ancient Glass in Winchester by J. D. Le Couteur, 1920, hardcover, 152 pages, 39 plates, used, age, wear, international shipping at actual cost of shipping; $14.00 (€12.88)
 


Roman, Palestinian, Sprinkler Flask, c. 4th Century A.D.

|Glass| |Antiquities|, |Roman,| |Palestinian,| |Sprinkler| |Flask,| |c.| |4th| |Century| |A.D.|
The Palestinian glass industry especially flourished from the early 4th to the early 5th century, when the region enjoyed a time of peace and prosperity. Conditions began to improve under Diocletian. The first Christian emperor, Constantine the Great, designated Jerusalem and the Holy Land for reconstruction. Exempted from personal taxation by an Imperial edict in 337, a large number of skilled craftsmen profited greatly from an economic boom. Urbanization increased, large new areas were put under cultivation, monasteries proliferated and synagogues were restored. The cities of Palestine, Caesarea Maritima, Jerusalem, Scythopolis, Neapolis, and Gaza reached their peak population, and the population West of the Jordan may have reached as many as one million.
AG20852. cf. Isings 104b, ROM Glass 327, Corinth II 621, Superb, complete and intact, spots of weathering and iridescence, glass dropper bottle, medium thickness yellow-green semi-transparent glass, 8.4 cm (3 1/4") high, 6.6 cm (2 5/8") maximum diameter, globular body with mold blown ribs, tubular neck tapering to a tooled constriction at top of shoulder, internal sprinkler diaphragm at base of neck, flaring mouth, vertical rim with folded stepped flange, fire rounded rim, kicked bottom with pontil mark; from the collection of Alex G. Malloy, former dealer in antiquities for 40 years; rare with this rim; $540.00 (€496.80)
 


Roman, Glass Sprinkler Flask, 3rd - 4th Century A.D.

|Glass| |Antiquities|, |Roman,| |Glass| |Sprinkler| |Flask,| |3rd| |-| |4th| |Century| |A.D.|
Dropper bottles, such as this one, were filled with scented oil or perfume. The constriction in the neck made it easy to dispense the expensive contents one drop at a time. The swirled design was created by blowing the body into a ribbed mold, removing the glass from the mold, then blowing it again while twisting the bubble.
AG21025. cf. ROM Glass 282, Isings 104b, Newark Museum 80-82, Oppenländer 493, Superb, complete and intact, spots of internal encrustation, mild weathering and some iridescence, dropper flask, 9.2 cm (3 5/8") high, 6.5 cm (2 1/2") maximum diameter, pale amber glass, slightly lopsided rolled and folded in rim, short funnel mouth, tubular neck with tooled constriction near the bottom, internal washer-like sprinkler diaphragm constriction at base of neck, globular body with spiral mold blown ribs (most visible on the shoulder), slightly convex bottom with pontil mark; from the collection of Alex G. Malloy, former dealer in antiquities for 40 years; $540.00 (€496.80)
 


Roman-Byzantine, Syro-Palestinian, Glass Dropper Flask, c. Late 1st - Early 5th Century A.D.

|Glass| |Antiquities|, |Roman-Byzantine,| |Syro-Palestinian,| |Glass| |Dropper| |Flask,| |c.| |Late| |1st| |-| |Early| |5th| |Century| |A.D.|
Thick enamel-like weathering, as seen on this piece, is common on glass found in the Levant and this piece is certainly from the Levante. This flask is, however, a bit of a mystery. There is nothing very similar in the large library of ancient and medieval glass references held by Forum. It resembles an aryballos, but lacks the handles which define that type. It probably was used like an aryballos, to store and dispense scented oil which was rubbed on the skin and then scraped off to clean the body. The date is uncertain. Weathering obscures the original color, making another mystery, but the only other a similar flasks we know are described as opaque black glass.
AG20822. Isings -, et al. -; apparently unpublished but two similar pieces are known from the market (priced $2,500 - $3,000!), Choice, complete and intact, thick tan and brown enamel-like weathering, dropper flask, free-blown, amber(?) glass, 12.0 cm (4 3/4") tall, 8.5 cm maximum diameter, piriform body, very short narrow neck, broad flat folded in rim, round bottom with large pontil mark, not designed to stand on its own, attractive clear plexiglass three prong stand included; from the collection of Alex G. Malloy, former dealer in antiquities for 40 years; very rare form; $600.00 (€552.00)
 


Roman Syro-Palestinian, Glass Sprinkler Jug, c. 3rd - 4th Century A.D.

|Glass| |Antiquities|, |Roman| |Syro-Palestinian,| |Glass| |Sprinkler| |Jug,| |c.| |3rd| |-| |4th| |Century| |A.D.|
This opaque buff-yellow-brown enamel-like weathering is common on glass vessels found in Israel, Lebanon, Jordan and Syria.
AG21159. cf. Lightfoot NMS 178, Ontario Museum 416, Isings -, Complete, intact, heavy desert weathering, weathering chipped in areas exposing rough glass, glass sprinkler jug, free-blown, heavy translucent green glass, 10.8 cm (4 1/4") tall, 6.3 cm (2 1/2") maximum diameter, slightly conical mouth, short cylindrical neck, single handle attached with folds under the rim to body immediately below the neck, washer-like sprinkler diaphragm at base of neck, conical slightly piriform body, kicked bottom with pontil mark; from a New Jersey dealer; $200.00 (€184.00)
 




  






REFERENCES|

Allen, D. Roman Glass in Britain. (Buckinghamshire, 1998).
Auth, S. Ancient Glass at the Newark Museum. (Newark, 1977).
Carboni, S. Glass from Islamic Lands: The Al-Sabah Collection, Kuwait National Museum. (New York, 2001).
Carboni, S. & D. Whitehouse. Glass of the Sultans. (New York, 2001).
Christie's Sale. Ancient Glass Formerly the Kofler-Truniger Collection. 5 - 6 Mar 1985.
Christie's Sale. Wolkenburg Collection. 9 Jul 1991.
Corning Museum of Glass, Journal of Glass Studies.
Ettinghausen, R. Ancient Glass in the Freer Gallery of Art. (Smithsonian Institution, 1962).
Glass at the Fitzwilliam Museum, exhibition catalogue. (Cambridge, 1978).
Goldstein, S. Pre-Roman Glass and Early Roman Glass in the Corning Museum of Glass. (Corning, 1979).
Grose, D. Toledo Museum of Art, Early Ancient Glass. (New York, 1989).
Grossmann, R. Ancient Glass: A Guide to the Yale Collection. (New Haven, CT, 2002).
Harden, D. Catalog of the Constable-Maxwell Collection of Ancient Glass. (London, 1979).
Harden, D. Ancient Glass, I: Pre-Roman, The Archaeological Journal, Vol. CXXV, 1969.
Harden, D. Glass of the Caesars. (Milan, 1987).
Harter, G. Römische Glaser Des Landesmuseums Mäinz. (Mainz, 1996).
Hayes, J. Roman and Pre-Roman Glass in the Royal Ontario Museum. (Toronto, 1975).
Isings, C. Roman Glass From Dated Finds. (1957).
Isings, C. Roman Glass in Limburg. (Gröningen, 1971).
Israeli, Y. Ancient Glass, Museum Haaretz Collection. (Tel-Aviv)
Kröger, J. Nishapur, Glass of the Early Islamic Period. (New York, 1995).
Kunina, N. Ancient Glass in the Hermitage Collection. (St Petersburg, 1997).
Lightfoot, C. Ancient Glass in National Museums Scotland. (Edinburgh, 2007).
Matheson, S. Ancient Glass in the Yale University Art Gallery. (Meriden, 1980).
Neuburg, F. Ancient Glass. (Toronto, 1962).
Nicholson, P. Egyptian Faience and Glass. (Buckinghamshire, 1993).
Oliver, A. Ancient Glass: Ancient and Islamic Glass in the Carnegie Museum. (1980).
Riefstahl, E. Ancient Egyptina Glass and Glazes in the Brooklyn Museum. (1968).
Saldern, A. Gläser der Antike: Sammlung Erwin Oppenländer: Katalog (Karlsruhe, Germany, 1975).
Sotheby's Sale. Ancient Glass, London, Sale 3242, London, 20 Nov 1987.
Sotheby's Sale. Important Ancient Glass from the Collection formed by the British Rail Pension Fund, London, 24 Nov 1997.
Sotheby's Sale. The Benzian Collection of Ancient and Islamic Glass, London, 7 July 1994.
Stern, M. Early Glass of the Ancient World, 1600 B.C. - A.D. 50, Ernesto Wolf Collection. (Ostfildern-Ruit, 1994).
Stern, M. Roman, Byzantine, and Early Medieval Glass, 10 BCE - 700 CE, Ernesto Wolf Collection. (Ostfildern-Ruit, 2001).
Von Saldern, A. Ancient Glass in the Museum of Fine Arts Boston. (Meriden, 1968).
Von Saldern, A., et al. Glaser der Antike, Sammlung Erwin Oppenländer. Museum fur Whitehouse, D. Islamic Glass in the Corning Museum of Glass, Vol. 1. (Rochester, 1997).
Whitehouse, D. Medieval Glass for Popes, Princes, and Peasants, The Corning Museum of Glass. (Corning, 2010).
Whitehouse, D. Roman Glass in the Corning Museum of Glass, Vol. 1. (Rochester, 1997).
Whitehouse, D. Roman Glass in the Corning Museum of Glass, Vol. 2. (Rochester, 2001).
Whitehouse, D. Roman Glass in the Corning Museum of Glass, Vol. 3. (Rochester, 1997).
Whitehouse, D. Sasanian and Post-Sasanian Glass in the Corning Museum of Glass. (Manchester, 1997).

Catalog current as of Friday, December 4, 2020.
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