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Covered glass goblet

 

Height: 35.600 cm (with cover)

M&ME 1886,11-13,1

Room 46: Europe 1400-1800

    Covered glass goblet

    Dresden, Germany, mid-18th century AD

    The monogram of Augustus III (1696-1763), Elector of Saxony and King of Poland

    By the end of the seventeenth century glass-makers in Northern Europe had perfected the technique of creating a clear, colourless glass, using limestone as the principal ingredient. The range of decoration could then be broadened. Applied gold leaf decoration was also used on porcelains and enamels, as the pure white body provided an excellent contrast to the gilding. This type of ornament quickly became fashionable in courtly circles, but was used only rarely, and then for special commissions, as constant use and handling would rub off the gold, which had been applied directly onto the surface.

    The cover of this goblet is ornamented with a scene of a boar and stag hunt with the royal coat of arms, while the bowl has, on one side, the royal monogram 'A.R.3' for Augustus III (1696-1763), Elector of Saxony and King of Poland beneath a crown flanked by cornucopia; on the other side is an inscription. The entire surface of the bowl is covered with foliate decoration interspersed with men and animals. Hunting was one of the favourite pursuits of the Saxon court and boars and deer survive to this day in Saxony and are hunted there.

    The inscription reads: 'HORN DES HEILS. HORNS DES SEEGENS. RÜSTE / FRIEDRICH AUGUSTUN DEN DRITTEN AUS. / F. RLAS STETS BLÜHEN UND STETS WACHSEN / DAS HOHE KÖNIGLICHE CHUR HAUS ZU SACHSEN / HORN DES HEILS ... AUS'

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

    A. Dawson, 'Gold foil decoration on enamel, glass and porcelain: a new look', Burlington Magazine-2, no. 1046 (May 1990), pp. 336-42

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    On display: Room 46: Europe 1400-1800

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    Prints and drawings by Albrecht Durer, £9.99

    Prints and drawings by Albrecht Durer, £9.99