The Wallace Collection

The Wallace Collection, A Family Collection, A National Museum, An International Treasure House
  • Goblet
  • Unknown Artist / Maker
  • Unknown Artist / Maker
  • Probably Venice
  • late 16th century - 17th century
  • Colourless glass with slight straw tinge with a turquoise-blue trail at the rim; ice-glass bowl; mould-blown, applied and tooled features.
  • Height: 18.3 cm
    Diameter: 9 cm
  • C544
  • Sixteenth Century Gallery
Images & Media
Further Reading
  • The strong, contrasting patterns on this fine glass goblet exemplify the decorative extravagance of Baroque glass in the Venetian style.
    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 diagonal ribbing on the stem, known as 'rigadin ritorto' in Venice, occurs frequently on seventeenth-century Venetian-style drinking glasses. Compositional analysis has shown that some stem forms similar to that of C544 were not produced in Venice but elsewhere in the Venetian style ('façon de Venise').
    C544 is probably Venetian, combining as it does several features typical of Venetian production: skilful construction, a blue trail and mereses at either end of a spirally ribbed stem. However, since its slight straw tinge is a characteristic of Spanish glass in the Venetian style, and this form of stem shaft is known to have been produced outside Venice in the 'façon de Venise', the possibility that this glass was not made in Venice cannot be excluded.