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Engraved glass goblet


Height: 13.000 cm

Gift of Sir A.W. Franks

M&ME 1895,6-3,17

Room 46: Europe 1400-1800

    Engraved glass goblet

    From London, England, AD 1586

    Glass in the Venetian style

    The goblet is made of clear glass with two gilded applied bands between white enamel threads and diamond-point engraving in the three zones. The top zone is engraved with the initials 'G' and 'S' joined by a love knot and the date '1586' between panels of floral decoration, the middle with the motto 'IN. GOD. IS. AL. MI. TRUST.'. It is likely that this goblet was engraved to commemorate a marriage.

    It was made in the London glasshouse of Jacopo Verzelini (1522-1606). Venetian glass was highly regarded throughout Europe in the sixteenth century. Many glassmakers from Venice were enticed to join recently-founded glasshouses in northern Europe, and were responsible for some of the finest work produced north of the Alps. However, once local glassmakers had mastered the various techniques, there was less reliance on Italian craftsmen. Verzelini was a Venetian glassmaker who arrived in London from Antwerp in 1571 and set up his own glasshouse. In 1575 he was granted a Royal Patent allowing him to produce glass à façon de Venise (in the Venetian style), and became a wealthy merchant. Decoration executed in diamond-point engraving was more fashionable in the north than in Italy, and it is thought that Anthony de Lysle, a Frenchman resident in London, engraved this goblet. Specialist engravers, men and women, often worked independently of the glasshouse.

    D.B. Harden and others, The British Museum: masterpiec (London, 1968)

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


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