The Wallace Collection

The Wallace Collection, A Family Collection, A National Museum, An International Treasure House
  • Bowl
  • Unknown Artist / Maker
  • Venice
  • late 16th - 17th century
  • Colourless ice glass with pinkish-grey tinge throughout, except for foot-ring and tooled denticulations ('morise') in plain colourless glass with pinkish-grey tinge and turquoise-blue handles; applied and tooled features.
  • Height: 4.4 cm
    Diameter: 14 cm
  • C543
  • Sixteenth Century Gallery
Images & Media
Further Reading
  • Bowls of a similar shape to C543, also with a pair of opposed scroll handles, were produced in various sizes and decorative techniques between the mid-sixteenth and eighteenth centuries.They are often attributed to Venice. C543 combines features typical of Venetian production: ice glass and this handle form. It is possible that, like some surviving examples of similarly shaped bowls, C543 originally had a cover or saucer.
    Glass with a crackled surface, known in Italian as ‘vetro ghiaccio’ (ice glass), was first made in Venice. Very successful in the second half of the sixteenth century, its popularity continued in the seventeenth century. It reflects a contemporary Italian interest in ice and iced drinks. To make ice glass, the hot gather of glass on the blowing iron was plunged into cold water, the thermal shock resulting in a fissured surface.
    The denticulated decoration in colourless glass on the pair of opposed scroll handles applied to this bowl is known in Italian as 'morise'. As is the case here, 'morise' in colourless glass were often applied to a contrasting blue scroll. '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.
    Drawings by Italian artists depicting glass bowls of similar shape to C543 date to the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries, but glasses of similar shape, containing liquid, are also shown in paintings produced in the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries, such as 'Still Life with Murano Glasses' by Christian Beerentz, c. 1710-20 (Liechtenstein Museum, Vienna).