The Wallace Collection

The Wallace Collection, A Family Collection, A National Museum, An International Treasure House
  • Flute
  • Unknown Artist / Maker
  • Probably Venice, otherwise 'façon de Venise', probably Netherlands
  • Probably late 16th century -17th century
  • Colourless glass with mould-blown, applied and tooled features.
  • Height: 28.2 cm
    Diameter: 9.5 cm
  • C545
  • Sixteenth Century Gallery
Images & Media
Further Reading

  • The tall, tapering flute was the quintessential wine-glass of wealthy Dutch mercantile society from the late sixteenth to late seventeenth centuries.They were produced in large quantities and were made in Venice for the Dutch market as well as in the Low Countries in the Venetian style ('façon de Venise'). Once the fashion for wearing wide ruffs began, around 1625, drinking from a flute may have been a practical measure. Some flutes retain their covers.
    Flutes were usually colourless, allowing full appreciation of both the colour of the wine and the quality of the transparent glass. They were often depicted in seventeenth-century Dutch interior scenes and still lifes. Some paintings include a flute similar to C545, such as ‘Pewter Jug and Silver Tazza on a Table’ by Jan Jansz. den Uyl (Private collection, London), which is dated 1633.
    The form of stem shaft seen on C545 occurs on glasses dated to the end of the sixteenth and the seventeenth centuries. The denticulated ornament on its opposed scroll wings is known in Italian as 'morise'. 'Morise' was an ornamental feature of enduring popularity for the decoration of Venetian and Venetian-style drinking glasses.While some glasses with this feature have been dated to the end of the sixteenth or beginning of the seventeenth century, they are often dated to the wider seventeenth century.
    Due in part to the purity of its untinted, colourless glass, C545 is thought probably to have been made in Venice, but fine Venetian-style glass was also made in the Netherlands, so some uncertainty as to its place of manufacture remains.