Ancient Glass Blog of The Allaire Collection


Posted in Uncategorized by Allaire Collection of Glass on April 18, 2020

Two decorated beakers on three bun feet


 Henk-Martin Goldschmidt collection

Date: 1650 to 1700 Origin: southern and northern Netherlands

The lack of clean drinking water made beer the most important thirst quencher during the 16th and 17th centuries. As drinking utensils all kind of beakers and roemers were made. As from 1550 this was done using colorless, transparent glass.  These beer glasses, being utensils and not very special, are rare survivors from the 17th century. Although during their days of use they were probably made in large quantities. Sometimes these beakers were standing on hollow feet (bun feet), sometimes on raspberry-prunes, sometimes there were no feet. According to Dexel this form on three little feet was based on beakers made of silver as an example, whereas in glass this resulted in optical decorations or a lid on top.

Description (left): Beaker with mesh-work or nipt-diamond-waies decoration at the bottom on three ball shaped feet. Gray-yellowish light tinted glass with a very high-cut bottom and pontil. Above the stand with three pressed hollow bun feet an optical mesh pattern was applied. A tension crack on the pontil is present. The sixteen, originally vertical ribs, were on three levels with a pair of tweezers pinched towards each other.

Decoration: nipt-diamond-waies

Henkes gives a description of the making process of these ‘nipt-diamond-waies’, he refers to Tait for the pictorial description of this manufacturing process.

Dimensions (left): Height 15,0 cm, diameter opening 8,9 cm, diameter basis 8,9 cm. Weight 316 gram and 662 ml capacity. Lightness ratio = volume in ml / weight in gr; is calculated as 2.1 ml/gr.

Provenance (left): Fischer auction March 2020, Nr. 33, page 14, former collection Krug, Nr. 452 (Sotheby’s Krug II, 7th December 1981, Nr. 318). Sammlung Schaich, 2007, Nr. 18, page 58.

Parallels (left): Henkes describes a very similar glass, and chronologically describes the various phases along which these beakers have developed. These beakers seem to originate from The Netherlands and Germany as façon de Venise. In the collection of Amendt a similar glass was described with Venlo (The Netherlands) as location reputedly found, three full bun feet and nipt diamond waies, all the way in various compactions.

Description (right): Beaker with spiked gadrooning decoration at the bottom on three ball shaped feet. Cylindrical cup made of thick, colorless glass, with a touch of grey in it. The feet were hollow and in the shape of a flattened bun. Clear traces of straight sheermark on the bottom of each foot. The bottom of the cup is decorated in the mezza stampaura technique, where the glass is partly covered with two layers at the bottom and blown into a “dip mold”, creating fourteen very pronounced ribs. After this, the ribs are cut at the top, resulting in the spiked gadrooning.

Decoration: spiked gadrooning

The mezza stampaura technique dates from the Venice of the late fifteenth, early sixteenth century and came to The Netherlands with the Venetian glassblowers.

The beaker Henkes describes (31.1, page 143) has also 14 vertical ribs.

We have not yet found a comparable copy of this cup with spiked gadrooning. Large cups on these hollow feet are extremely rare. In the Birgit and Dieter Schaich collection there is a similar cup (ex Krug collection), this time with nipt-diamond-waies, made of sixteen ribs. In the description, following Klesse (1972), it is noted how rare these glasses are on hollow feet (Schaich 2007, 18, Klesse 1973, 452). A comparable cup, but completely with a narrow diamond waies covered, on the same hollow feet, is located in the City museum Den Haag (Pijzel 2009, cat. no. 131)

 Material (right): According to Edwin van Drecht, these glasses are found in the soil in contexts from around 1700. They are usually iridescent black, so made of lead glass.

Dimensions (right): Height 16,5 cm, diameter opening 9,3 cm, diameter basis 9,3 cm  Weight 331 gram and 913 ml capacity. Lightness ratio = volume in ml / weight in gr; is calculated as 2.8 ml/gr.

Provenance (right): Acquired through Lameris (Amsterdam) in November 2019 from a Dutch private collection.

Origin both beakers: These decoration motives were not only applied to beakers but also on jugs and goblets. In the first half of the 17th century it was used to decorate thin facon de Venise goblets and short beakers. At the middle of this century tall beakers were decorated with this motive. In the second half of the 17th century the thin façon de Venise glassworks were replaced by thicker, less elegant beakers. These two beakers belong to the latest category, so be dated as 1650 to 1700. They are typical for the southern and northern Netherlands.

Parallels both beakers: The city museum in Arnhem holds a beaker (num. 113, a socalled mol-glass, named after the type of beer drunk from these glasses) that has no decoration but an engraving, same size, signed and dated 1680.


– Gebrauchsglas, Thomas Dexel, Munchen, 1983 (2nd edition), page 131, fig 72 and comments on page 49

– Facetten van glas, Kristin Duysters, Anrhem, 2002, page 141, num 113

– Klesse, Brigitte, Glassammlung Helfried Krug Vol. II, München 1973, page 85, num 452

– Fischer kunstauktionen, 278 auktion, March 21th 2020, Heilbronn, num 33, page 14

– Glass without gloss, Harold Henkes, 1994, Rotterdam Papers 9, page 141-143

– Five Thousand Years of Glass, Hugh Tait, revised edition, 1994, page 237

– Schaich, Dieter, with the collaboration of Erwin Baumgartner, Reine Formsache, Deutsches formglas 15. Bis 19. Jahrhundert, Sammlung Birgit + Dieter Schaich, München Berlin 2007, num 18, page 58

– Jet Pijzel, Glinsterend glas, 1500 jaar Europese glaskunst, City museum Den Haag, 2009, num 131, page 89

– Glass of the Middle Ages and the Renaissance Period, The Karl Amendt Collection, Erwin Baumgartmer, Dusseldorf 2005, page 223

2 Responses

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  1. wynkin said, on April 18, 2020 at 11:17 am

    It’s interesting seeing what our seventh times grandfather was drinking from.

  2. Hans van Rossum said, on April 20, 2020 at 3:57 am

    Welcome to the club Henk. Very nice item and interesting description.

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