LockedRoman Glass is it Authentic?

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2010/01/25 21:05:22 (permalink)

Roman Glass is it Authentic?

I have seen some crude roman glass bottles or vessels with old pantina for sale in recent years. Ive always wanted to own a piece of glass from that time period but have been afraid that they might not be authentic. Did they make reproductions of these type bottles? Most run $60.00 and up. Ive seen them at estate sales and auctions and antique shops. It seems like there is alot of them on the market. If they did make reproductions how can you tell a real from a fake?

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    RED Matthews
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    RE: Roman Glass is it Authentic? 2010/01/25 21:40:15 (permalink)
    Hello JustGlass,  It is just sad that so much glass was made and traded in the Roman Empires life span, yet there isn't much information in the books,  A lot of us have one to a half dozen old bottles that we feel came from the technology of that time.  I know of three on the ABN FORUM that do.  I have spent a lot of time at the Corning Museum studying pieces of glass from the early periods of glass making.  They feel that unless they were involved anything individuals have is a repro fake, without good backings of origin.  One of the guys calls his Ancient Glass - he sent three of them to me for evaluation at Corning and they just shrugged their shoulders.  I have one piece that was given to me by a family that were relatives to a digger that had been in Greese.  It is old but only your own satisfaction makes it important to you.  We had a man in our bottle club that had several old tear bottles from the Egyptain era of early glass making.  When he died - I couldn't find out what happened to them.  It happened while I was up north. 
    I like the looks of what you pictured and thank you for showing it to us.  Do you think it was formed over a ceramic core or was it blown?  There just isn't much written for us to learn from.  Too bad.   RED Matthews

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    RE: Roman Glass is it Authentic? 2010/01/25 23:12:50 (permalink)
    The small Roman Unguentarium bottles were made in huge numbers.
    This photo is fairly typical for them...
    They used to go for about $75-100 for a decent one.
    Roman glass is almost always opalized and etched, a patina hard to reproduce.
    When you start talking about colors other than natural aqua or odd shapes the price starts going up fast. Larger Roman glass items are more rare.
    There are a lot of fakes in the ancient items trade. Beware.
    Its illegal to take items out of many countries. Much of it was coming from eastern europe which has tons of later ~3rd century roman relics.
    I used to collect 1st century imperial roman coins but the prices have gotten too high and too many fakes and shadey dealers.

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    RE: Roman Glass is it Authentic? 2010/01/26 05:06:48 (permalink)
    Hey JG...

    Try checking out Trocadero... They stand by their vendors and I've had good dealings with them...

    Here's one I got thru them and sold a cuppla years ago... I miss it!

    How you been? Going to Somersworth this April?


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    RE: Roman Glass is it Authentic? 2010/01/26 08:44:49 (permalink)
    Thanks everyone for the information. The picture I have posted is one I picked off the internet just for representation. Most I see are smaller but somewhat the same shape. I think if I do purchase one I will try to go through a reputable dealer. I know when buying indian artifacts like arrowheads and stone tools its always a good thing to know a seller you can trust. Hey Ron I hope to make the somersworth show. I have never been to it but have mapped it out and talked my brother into going with me. Hope to see ya there. I purchased some nice bottles at the Ballston Spa show and the Keene show last year. I don't buy many bottles on ebay anymore so I save my money to buy a couple nice ones at these shows.
    post edited by JustGlass - 2010/01/26 08:46:05
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    RE: Roman Glass is it Authentic? 2010/01/27 20:19:40 (permalink)
    One sure sign of a fake is if it has patina everywhere except where it was broken from the pontil. The fakers expose the glass to reactive chemicals while it's still attached to the pontil, so where it breaks off is the only spot that's not exposed.
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    RE: Roman Glass is it Authentic? 2010/02/04 12:03:03 (permalink)
    Hi. on the subject of reproduction.

    Here in the UK there is a glass studio that specialises in the study of the Roman and other historical periods. They are quite an education.


    There is also a substantial industry supplying the living history/re-enactment scene.

    There you can buy most types of ceramic or glassware from the prehistoric beaker people through the roman period and onwards to the mid 19th century - though it's cheaper to dig from here on. Most of this material is made in as authentic a manner as possible. A number of the firms are involved in experimental archaeology and museum supplies.

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