Glass drinking-horn

Frankish/Merovingian, 5th century AD
From Bingerbrück, Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany

Olive green glass with trailed decoration

Large horns such as this would have been passed between guests at feasts and drinking-sessions. The shape of the horn is derived from late provincial Roman models, which in turn imitated vessels made from cattle horns adapted for drinking with metal mounts.

Although the finer skills of Roman glass-makers had been lost, more of the old expertise survived in Lombardic Italy, as shown by a blue glass drinking-horn from Sutri, also in The British Museum.

The colour of this horn is typical of post-Roman glass and is probably due to natural salts in the composition.

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More information


British Museum, The British Museum and its col (London, The British Museum Press, 1982)

V.I. Evison, 'Germanic glass drinking horns', Journal of Glass Studies-1, 17 (1975)


Length: 34.100 cm

Museum number

M&ME 1873,5-2,212


Bequeathed by Felix Slade


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