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Glass goblet

 

Height: 16.200 cm
Diameter: 13.500 cm

Slade Collection

M&ME Slade 824

Room 46: Europe 1400-1800

    Glass goblet

    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.

    The first 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 rebus 'BOUC eau'. The gilt band with pearl edging just below the rim of the bowl is inscribed 'IE.SVIS.A.VOVS.IEHAN BOVCAV.ET.ANTOYNETTE.BOVC' ('I am yours Jehan Boucau and Antoinette Bouc'). It is likely that the last word in the inscription around the rim has been abbreviated to 'BOUC' due to lack of space.

    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)

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    On display: Room 46: Europe 1400-1800

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