Erotic images from Greece and Rome, £16.99
Height: 13.200 cm
Bequeathed by Felix Slade
Room 46: Europe 1400-1800
Engraved glass (roemer)
Holland, around AD 1650
'Still lives Orange'
A roemer is a type of drinking glass used for wine, made from green waldglas (forest glass). This stem is decorated with raspberry prunts, applied blobs of glass stamped with fireproof clay or metal to form a pattern. The prunts served a functional use as well as a decorative purpose: during a meal they provided a grip for greasy hands, important at a time when forks were not commonly used. The foot is made from a single thread of glass spun around a wooden conical form. Roemers were made in quantity in the many German forest glasshouses during the seventeenth century, and were exported throughout Europe. Roemers were also made in quantity in the Low Countries. Many can be seen in Dutch seventeenth-century still-life paintings. Although their use was widespread, it remained restricted to the relatively wealthy. The form still remains a popular one, especially in Holland and Germany, the glass used today is normally paler in colour.
The inscription on this glass reads 'Noch Leeft Orange' ('Still lives Orange'). The engraving almost certainly depicts William II, Prince of Orange (1626-50), who married Mary, Princess Royal of England. Their son, the future William III was born shortly after his father's death, and the inscription suggests this glass was decorated in 1650 to commemorate both the death of William II and the continuation of the House of Orange with the prince's birth.
D.B. Harden and others, The British Museum: masterpiec (London, 1968)