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The core formed glass on the home page..............?

Both for sale on eBay

Which is genuine?

The answer is here



Which of these would you prefer in your collection?





Compare the two above with these.


All of these and a few more were sold on Ebay recently, all described as 100-300 AD


They are all clearly wrong.

  • wrong shapes
  • wrong colours
  • wrong small details


All possibly from the workshop of a forger

in Damascus





So.........which of the two at the top of this page do you like?


The one on the right is fake.


It is from this group which appeared on eBay. Admittedly, it is the "best" of that group, but it is from Damascus and definitely not ancient.


And the one on the left?


It is, alas, also a fake. That one and the one below allegedly came out of an Italian workshop and were in the market about 10 years ago along  with several others from the same stable doing the rounds.


The shapes are not right, close but not right.  The handles are not quite right. The colours are not right, particularly the background colour which was meant to be a dark blue but comes out almost black and finally the maker has not got the art of the trailing.

(Thanks to portland )




All dealers and most collectors of ancient artifacts are aware that there is extensive forgery of antiquities and particularly of core formed glass.

These pieces have mosltly been acid washed and show the characteristic dull surface reflection quality. There are often parts of the surfaces which have not been acid washed and show a shine which is not like the shine of pristine ancient glass.


Surfaces of fake ancient glass are an even matt  without any evidence of age at all. Over a long period of time if left in the soil or in damp conditions the surface of glass objects will show signs of dulling, deterioration or weathering and with the possible formation of a patina. Such signs of deterioration will not usually be uniform and will be more pronounced in a given area of the glass depending on how it has been lying over thousands of years. When such weathering is cleaned off it will leave a rough or slightly rough surface as against the original smooth fire polish.


Modern fakes usually exhibit rapid surface water drying which is uncharacteristic of genuinely ancient glass. The surface layers can be seen to be rather thin and invariable, unlike the thicker and variable surface of genuinely ancient core formed glass.


Inspection internally with a fibre-optic light will usually show evidence of recent scraping out of the soil core and looks very unlike the remnant soil cores and inter-face core/glass slip seen in genuine ancient glass.


The internal aspects of the necks and the rims in genuine ancient pieces are invariably ground and polished off; this is not always seen in these fake pieces.



     BY portland


If you study a fake you will almost always find some fine point in the technical manufacture that has been overlooked by the reproducer, in comparison with the real thing.

For example I recently was offered a fake-core glass alabastron that was a very good effort on the part of its producer but they had failed to understand or recognise the method by which the dolphin handles were formed. Whereas the loops on these are always folded inwards the reproducer had not spotted this and had folded them in an outward loop. So this is the sort of thing you will pick up quite quickly if you look at a lot of published examples. It is important to study every detail and get a feel for what is right or wrong.





Unfortunately the skill with which fakers exercise their deception is getting better and better.

But if you saw and fell in love with the frog, believe me, if you kiss him he won't turn into a dashing prince! (It shows how little the sellers of fakes know...little Mr Frog was on offer at the same time as "good" fakes.  




More about ancient glass  forgeries