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.

Discover Islamic Art website


Islamic Middle East

Video

The Islamic lands have encompassed at different times Spain to the west and as far as the Malay world and China to the east.

Islamic Middle East world culture


Find in the collection online


Hedwig glass beaker

  • Alternative viewpoint

    Alternative viewpoint

  • Alternative viewpoint

    Alternative viewpoint

  • Alternative viewpoint

    Alternative viewpoint

 

More information

Bibliography

H. Tait (ed.), Five thousand years of glass (London, The British Museum Press, 1991)

B. Brend, Islamic art (London, The British Museum Press, 1991)

Dimensions

Height: 14.3 cm
Width: 13.9 cm

 

Museum number

ME OA 1959.4-14.1

RRM13372

 

Purchased with funds from the Brooke Sewell Bequest

Location

Find in the collection online

Related products

Book

A History of the World in 100 objects

 
By Neil MacGregor

Accompanies the BBC Radio 4 series




This object features in A History of the World in 100 objects


Search highlights

There are over 4,000 highlight objects to explore