Hedwig glass beaker
Probably made in Syria, 12th century AD
This is one of the biggest and finest 'Hedwig glasses', so called because they are said to have belonged to the Silesian Princess Saint Hedwig (1174-1245).
Hedwig's abstention from wine made her husband, Henry I 'the Bearded', anxious for her health. However, one day he saw the water in her glass turn into wine as she lifted it to drink. In later centuries, a number of glass vessels in Germany were claimed to have been hers and to have miraculous properties.
The origin of the group of glasses has been much disputed, but the renowned rock crystal and glass cutting schools of Syria and Egypt could well have produced these magnificent examples of medieval glass.