The Wallace Collection

The Wallace Collection, A Family Collection, A National Museum, An International Treasure House
  • Bowl
  • Unknown Artist / Maker
  • Venice or 'façon de Venise', possibly Tuscany
  • late 16th - 17th century
    1450 - 1599
    1600 - 1699
  • Colourless glass with grey tinge and many air bubbles throughout, except for a spiral trail of turquoise-blue glass; mould-blown, applied and tooled features.
  • Height: 4.9 cm
    Diameter: 10.7 cm
  • C547
  • Sixteenth Century Gallery
Images & Media
Further Reading
  • The shape of this bowl is reminiscent of an exceptional Byzantine glass bowl made in Constantinople in the tenth century and taken as Venetian booty in 1204. Recorded in the Treasury of St Mark's, Venice, by 1325, it may have been known to the Venetian glass-makers and their patrons.
    The dating of C547 is assisted by contemporary documentation and depictions of similar glassses in visual sources. A document dated 16 September 1594 refers to a monopoly for glasses decorated with threads of gold glass to be made in the Medici glasshouse in Pisa, indicating that glasses with applied threads were made in Tuscany at that time. Small bowls with slightly everted rims and handles like those on C547 are among glasses in a model book with anonymous drawings dating to the first two decades of the seventeenth century in the Biblioteca Casanatense, Rome, and bowls with handles of C547 type feature in paintings dating to the first half of the seventeenth century such as Gioacchino Assereto's 'Isaac Blessing Jacob' (State Hermitage Museum, St Petersburg)', dated 1640-50.
    There are many bowls with similar shape and handles to this one but without the everted rim, moulded bosses and trails. They were produced in a range of decorative techniques including white glass ('lattimo'), 'calcedonio' and ice glass.
    This bowl is attributed as Venetian or 'façon de Venise' because, although it is Venetian in style, the grey tinge of the glass and the presence of many air bubbles may indicate production outside of Venice, perhaps in Tuscany.