Stemmed cup with cover
Unknown artist, Bohemian
Stemmed cup with cover, 1700-1720
Blown glass with wheel-engraved decoration
20.5 cm (8 1/16 inches) (height)
Gift of Mrs. John S. Holbrook 45.188
The rise of a merchant class in Europe’s expanding seventeenth-century economy led to a greater demand for decorative drinking vessels, which spurred the revival of the glass industry north of the Alps. In the early 1700s, new factories in today’s Germany, Poland, and Czech Republic developed a thick-walled colorless glass, often called Bohemian glass. This medium was very hard and could be engraved with rapidly-turning lapidary wheels to create richly ornamented surfaces. The most elaborate examples of ceremonial Bohemian glass goblets, such as this stemmed cup with cover, carry armorial crests. Unlike earlier Venetian models with tall, delicate stems, these heavier cups sit on short, sturdy, facet-cut stems, here with a baluster-shape embedded with red and gold glass canes.