The Wallace Collection

The Wallace Collection, A Family Collection, A National Museum, An International Treasure House
  • Goblet
  • Unknown Artist / Maker
  • Venice or façon de Venise
  • last third of the 16th- beginning of the 17th century
  • Aquamarine-blue bowl, colourless stem and foot; the stem mould-blown.
  • Height: 14.2 cm
    Diameter: 7.9 cm
  • C531
  • Sixteenth Century Gallery
Images & Media
Further Reading
  • The rich and luminous aquamarine-blue bowl of this stocky goblet immediately attracts attention. The mould-blown stem incorporates opposed lions' masks alternating with stylized flower heads over swags, framed by gadroons. Lion-mask stems were produced for a long period, from the mid-sixteenth to mid-seventeenth centuries, both in Venice and in other European centres producing glass in the Venetian style. The shape of this goblet is closely comparable with that of an enamelled glass inscribed with the date 1581 in the Bayerisches Nationalmuseum, Munich. That glass, attributed to Hall or Innsbruck in the Tyrol, is one of a relatively coherent group of glass vessels. Other glasses that combine a coloured bowl with a colourless stem or share different features with C531 are variously attributed to Venice or the Netherlands and generally dated to the late sixteenth or early seventeenth centuries.
    An intriguing manufacturing flaw is visible on this glass. It is a broken glass bead from a swag on the lion-mask stem. It occurs on a seam from the mould used to produce this section of the stem. This flaw commonly occurs in the area opposite the hinge of the mould. When the mould is not closed fully, there is nothing to contain the rapidly inflating glass wall from 'blowing out' at this small spot, leaving a hole.