The Wallace Collection

The Wallace Collection, A Family Collection, A National Museum, An International Treasure House
  • Vessel
  • Unknown Artist / Maker
  • Venice
  • late 16th - first half 17th century
  • Colourless glass with pinkish-straw tinge with mould-blown, applied and tooled features.
  • Height: 16.4 cm
    Diameter: 9 cm
    Diameter: 8.2 cm, of mouth
    Diameter: 8 cm, of base
  • C538
  • Sixteenth Century Gallery
Images & Media
Further Reading
  • The shape of this unusual vessel takes inspiration from a German glass vessel form, the 'Kuttrolf', a container for the slow pouring of liquids, with a globular body and a long, narrow neck comprising or accessed by multiple tubes. In the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries several variants of the 'Kuttrolf' form were produced for bottles and drinking vessels. 'Kuttrolfs' were made in Venice and in Venetian style ('façon de Venise') in the late sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.
    The interesting shape of this vessel opens up a discussion at to its intended function. Its wide, disc-like mouth is similar to those found on Venetian glasses sometimes described as lamps, perhaps because it was thought that the discs might act as reflectors or draught shields. However it is also comparable to a long-necked vessel in the Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto, which has been described as a wine-taster, and it has also been suggested that vessels of this type may have been perfume dispensers, the discs intended to provide a surface for the perfume to evaporate. It seems unlikely that this vessel, with its single channel, twisted and curved neck and wide, disc-like mouth, would have been suitable for any of these functions.
    This glass, which seems likely to have been made in Venice, has features in common with some glasses depicted in Italian drawings dating to the first half of the seventeenth century.