France, mid-16th century AD
This colourless soda glass goblet is enamelled and gilt on the exterior in three compartments divided by a thick bold line of white enamel. The base of the bowl is enamelled with white scrolls that join at each of the compartments.
compartment depicts a fashionable young man in dress of the period,
presenting a bouquet of red flowers. An inscription on a scroll
reads: 'IE SVIS A VOUS' ('I am
yours'). The next compartment depicts a young lady holding
out a heart on top of which is an orb: the inscription here reads:
'MO CVEVR AVES' ('My heart is
yours'). The third compartment shows a white goat,
attempting to drink out of a narrow-necked vase, which forms the
The sentiments of love strongly suggest this is a type of 'betrothal' goblet, possibly given to celebrate a marriage. It is not clear whether this goblet was made by Italian craftsmen working in French glass-houses, or by French glass-workers. There was a 'Jehan Boucau' listed in 1529 as a landowner in Belgium, perhaps suggesting that this goblet was made in the glass-houses of the Southern Netherlands.
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)
Diameter: 13.500 cm
M&ME Slade 824