Wine glass with a silver groat in the stem

England, late 17th century AD
The coin is dated 1687

George Ravenscroft (1632-83), an English glassmaker working in London, is considered responsible for the introduction into England of glass containing lead, and for the further development of lead glass. By around 1681 other English glass-makers were also making heavy, but brilliantly clear lead glass.

It was not possible to blow this glass thinly, and thus impossible to make the strong, simple forms with the delicately pulled ribbons of glass in the Venetian style. Instead a new, essentially English form of decoration was created, with a variety of stem forms using knops, balusters and teardrops. Glass was often decorated with applied and stamped prunts, thick pincered ribbons and bands of chain links. The recognizable 'nip't diamond waies', were applied ribs of glass pincered together while still molten to form a mesh pattern.

The inclusion of a coin - here a groat (fourpence piece) - within the stem was a popular glassmaking trick.

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More information


R.J. Charleston, Journal of Glass Studies-2, 10 (1968), pp. 156-67

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

R. J. Charleston, English glass and the glass us (London, Allen and Unwin, 1984)


Height: 19.800 cm
Diameter: 8.600 cm

Museum number

M&ME 1925,2-16,1


Gift of Mrs. Edmund Lamb through the National Art Collections Fund


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