The Wallace Collection

The Wallace Collection, A Family Collection, A National Museum, An International Treasure House
Vase
  • Vase
  • Unknown Artist / Maker
  • Venice
  • mid-16th - early 17th century
  • Colourless glass with pinkish-grey tinge, with moulded, applied and tooled features and gilding.
  • Height: 21.2 cm
    Diameter: 16.2 cm, with handles
    Diameter: 11 cm, excluding handles
  • C519
  • Sixteenth Century Gallery
Commentary
History
Images & Media
Further Reading
  • The lightness and fragility of this delicately grey-tinged colourless glass were among the qualities for which Venetian glass was most admired in the later sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Its segmentally ribbed walls, tall, flamboyant scroll handles dexterously capped with pincered cresting, the applied trails, plain at the rim, wavy at its neck base, infuse this vase with a characterful exuberance. The gold leaf on the moulded prunts was picked up on the hot glass just before it was moulded.
    Vases of a similar form, often without moulding to the bowl and neck, appear to have been produced over a long period. Fragments from Venetian-style vases with similar handles and trails at the base of the neck were salvaged from the Gnalić wreck, which sank in the late sixteenth century. Yet more than a hundred years later, vases similar in style to C519 was among the glasses acquired by Frederik IV, King of Denmark, when he visited Venice in 1708-9. Vases of comparable design, dated to the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, are sometimes more elaborately decorated, perhaps with a vetro a retorti pattern, applied coloured flowers, marbling or engraving. The bowl shape of C519 is atypical, an acorn-shaped bowl being more usual.