Prints and drawings by Albrecht Durer, £9.99
Diameter: 6.900 cm
Bequeathed by Felix Slade (1868)
M&ME S 847
Room 46: Europe 1400-1800
Enamelled measuring glass (passglas)
From Saxony, Germany, early 18th century AD
This is a passglas (measuring glass), a type of drinking glass for communal use at state or guild functions, banquets, weddings and other festivities. They are often marked with enamelled or trailed bands of glass, representing measures. The drinker had to consume an exact measure before being allowed to pass the glass on.
The arms of Saxony and the letters 'F A R P' (Fredericus Augustus Rex Poloniae) refer to Frederick Augustus I, known as Augustus the Strong (1670-1733), Elector of Saxony and King of Poland. Augustus was a celebrated patron of the arts and collector of porcelain. In 1710 he founded the Royal Saxon Porcelain Manufacture at Meissen, near Dresden.
Hofkellerei (court cellar) glasses, decorated with the arms of Saxony, were produced by a glasshouse supported by Augustus, and were made in significant numbers.
H. Tait (ed.), Five thousand years of glass (London, The British Museum Press, 1991)