The Wallace Collection

The Wallace Collection, A Family Collection, A National Museum, An International Treasure House
Footed Bowl and Cover
  • Footed Bowl and Cover
  • Unknown Artist / Maker
  • Porbably Venice, possibly Innsbruck
  • c. 1560 - c. 1590
  • Colourless glass with greyish tinge and many small air bubbles; mould-blown, applied and tooled features; diamond-point engraving.
  • Height: 32.4 cm, with cover
    Diameter: 17.5 cm, overall
    Diameter: 12.4 cm, of cover
  • C529
  • Sixteenth Century Gallery
Commentary
History
Images & Media
Further Reading
  • This elaborately engraved vased-shaped vessel and cover is one of a number of such glasses made in the late sixteenth century and known as
    'Vasenpokal'. Undoubtedly used as reliquaries at this time, by the early seventeenth century still-life depictions show vessels of similar shape, albeit without engraving, being used as goblets or vessels for serving wine. Many of the engraved vessels are cold painted in their cartouches with profile busts or coats of arms. However, although this bowl has empty cartouches, there is no evidence to suggest that it was decorated in that way.
    Traditionally glasses of this type have been attributed to the glasshouses of Hall and Innsbruck in Tyrol. However more recently some scholars have taken the view that they were made in Venice, in part because glasses similar in shape or decoration to that in the Wallace Collection were used as reliquaries in Venetian churches. There is evidence to suggest that they were made both in Venice and the Tyrol. Attribution is problematic, as is indicated by the fact that between 1570 and 1591 Archduke Ferdinand II operated a court glasshouse at Innsbruck where he employed Venetian glass-makers.
    The decoration on the glass is created by a technique called diamond-point engraving. Originally a Roman glass decorating technique, it was revived in Renaissance Venice by Vincenzo d'Angelo, who applied for a patent to use the technique on blown glass in 1549. The motifs incorporated into the stylized ornament engraved on this glass may reflect the influence of contemporary lace-making, another important Venetian industry.This engraving style and these motifs occur on a range of other vessels made in Venic or in the Venetian style in the later sixteenth century.