Ancient Glass Blog of The Allaire Collection


Posted in Uncategorized by Allaire Collection of Glass on June 22, 2020

Two Venetian wine glasses and a Kangxi wing vase

representing “The Silk Road”

of Henk-Martin Goldschmidt Collection

The handles of the vase seem to be inspired by Venetian wing glasses from the same time. The base of the wing is comparable to the blue wavy attachment of the left glass, up to the top curl, the “combs” on that of the right glass. In this case, the combs have a waffle pattern, but a relief of hatchings as painted on the Chinese vase also occurs. Museum Veste Coburg holds a rare glass vase of exactly the same shape as this Chinese one, including the undulating rim around the neck.

Description: Blue and white painted vase with wings, China Kangxi, last quarter of the 17th century (h: 19,8 cm) positioned between two Venetian Winged glasses, second half of the 17th century or early 18th century (h: 17,5 cm and 13,0 cm respectively).

The Silk Road was a network of caravan as well as shipping routes through Central Asia, traded for many centuries between China and Eastern Asia on one side and the Middle East and Mediterranean on the other. For centuries, from classical antiquity to the late Middle Ages, the Silk Road was the good link between East and West. The first person to use the name Silk Road (Seidenstraße) was the German geographer and explorer Ferdinand von Richthofen in 1877.

The Silk Road trade played a significant role in the development of the civilizations of China, Korea, Japan, the Indian subcontinent, Iran, Europe, the Horn of Africa and Arabia, opening long-distance political and economic relations between the civilizations. Though silk was the major trade item exported from China, many other goods and ideas were exchanged, including religions (especially Buddhism), syncretic philosophies, sciences, and technologies like paper and gunpowder. So in addition to economic trade, the Silk Road was a route for cultural trade among the civilizations along its network. Diseases, most notably plague, also spread along the Silk Road.

It covered a period of 100 BC until the late mediaeval times, mid 15th century. So the depicted glasses here are after that period and the Chinese vase is most probably transported through VOC ships from China towards Europe. The Silk Road was a network of trade routes that connected the East and West, and was central to the economic, cultural, political, and religious interactions between these regions from the 2nd century BCE to the collapse in the18th century. The silk trade continued to flourish until it was disrupted by the collapse of the Safavid Empire in the 1720s.

One of the silk roads reached from Konstantinopal to Peking, so porcelain from Jingdezhen could be following this road although by ship was also possible during the last quarter of the 17th century.

Along the Silk Road, over the centuries, many things were transported and spread including silk, diseases, cultural habits, religions but also glass. However glass mainly was transported from west to east, as can be seen trough archeological findings. The transport of ceramics was in the opposite direction. In that picture the three items shown fit.

From left to right:

(I)        Wine glass with wings with aquamarine colored glass


Glass has a trumpet-shaped goblet and a cigar-shaped stem (verre a jambe). On either side a wing built from a base of aquamarine-colored glass, which is made up from bottom to top of two triangles with a half heart ending in a curl above.

On this a colorless pinched glass thread, with a decoration of nine pinches on one side and eight pinches on the other side, which then goes down at a sharp angle with a pinch in the tip to the tip of the upper blue triangle where after an extra pinch again at a sharp angle with a pinched tip to the next blue triangle, where after six pinches the thread ends in a long stretched curl. Goblet and stem are connected by a disc (a merese). A disc also connects foot and stem.

Material:        Cristallo and aquamarine-colored glass

Date:               Seventeenth century

Origin:           Italy, Venice

Dimensions:   Height 17,5 cm, diameter cup 12,5 cm and diameter foot 8,5 cm

Condition:      Small crack in the merese. Slight chalk build-up in the goblet.


From Belgian collection bought by Laméris, Amsterdam at the Tefaf, in the Nineties, following an advertisement in Collect and a visit to the museum in Toledo, this ensemble purchased from Laméris March 2020.

(II)                   Blue and white painted vase with wings on both sides


Shape: A vase consisting of a flattened sphere, a tapered neck and a flared mouth opening. Neck and mouth opening are separated by a wavy imposed cord. On both sides we see two handles, the ‘wings’. The entire vase is a copy of a (now very rare) 17th century wing vase that, like wing glasses, made of glass or wood, were sent to China by the Dutch as an example to be copied in porcelain. (The question was to recreate the shapes exactly, but to make the decoration as ‘exotic’ as possible. The send back question was if one could not send such complicated shapes!).

Decoration: The decoration is in underglaze blue. All three parts have a floral decoration, in addition, a single bird can be seen on the wide flared mouth opening. The ‘wings’ are shaded and dotted in blue, the top of the mouth opening and the sphere and the bottom of the neck have a decorative band decoration, on the bottom are two concentric circles.


Parallels:        This type of vase is offered regularly at various auction houses (e.g. Christie’s, febr 2012, lot 603, Rob Michiel, okt 2015, lot 275, Bonhams, sep 2018, lot 179) and dealers (e.g. van Leeuwen, The Hague, Catherine Hunt, Cheltenham, Gibson, London, Guest and Gray, London).


Material:        porcelain

Date:               Kangxi, (1662-1722), last quarter of the 17th century

Origin:           China, Jing de zhen kilns

Dimensions:   Height 19,8 cm, diameter opening 6,8 cm, diameter base 6,6 cm

Provenance:   Laméris, Amsterdam acquired March 2020

Condition:     intact, no restorations

(III)     Wine glass with diamond line engraving of flower branches.


Cup-shaped chalice. Hollow stem with a square knot above an inverted baluster. On either side a wing constructed from an ear-shaped base of aquamarine-colored glass, with five round combs with a waffle pattern and an elongated ornament on the bottom. Slightly conical base. A disc connects cup and stem. A disc also connects foot and stem.

The model of this stem with the wide blown hollow stem in the form of an inverted baluster under two discs, is typical for around 1700. The glasses are engraved (Theuerkauff-Liederwald 1994, 299), but also with typical decorations of this time: with a cup in the a penne technique (a funnel-shaped example: Theuerkauff-Liederwald 1994, 303). ), ribs (Theuerkauff-Liederwald 1994, 300) and diamond line engraving like this one. In Veste Coburg there is a glass with an identical shape with a decoration of flowers in a diamond line engraving (Theuerkauff-Liederwald 1994, 298).

Line engraving:

The chalice is engraved on two sides with three branches, one with a large flower in the middle, the other with a bird. The branches consist of, sometimes wavy, lines, the leaves and buds of the side branches are outlined with shaded scratches in them. The flower has a round heart with open scratches in two directions that mingle. The six petals have a recessed circle at the base with dense scratches around it. The bird has feathers and a tail. Leaves and buttons on the foot.

Material:        Cristallo and aquamarine colored glass

Date:               Second half 17th, early 18th century

Origin:           Venice

Height:           13,0 cm,  diameter cup 10,2 cm and diameter foot 8,8 cm

Provenance:   Laméris, Amsterdam acquired March 2020

Condition:     intact, no restorations


The Museum Veste Coburg Museum contains a rare glass example of the vase that must have been made after this porcelain vase or, perhaps more logically, the other way around. Even the pinched ribs on the combs are imitated in blue lines, just like the wavy edge around the neck (Theuerkauff Liederwald 1994, cat. No. 644).

Visit Toledo Museum of Art Glass Pavilion, Toledo, Ohio, July 2018. Explanation on museum signs: Southern Netherlandish “Serpent” wine glass, Glass, blown, rooled, about 1650 – 1700, Purchased with funds from the Libby Endowment, Gift of Edward Drummond Libbey, 1953. Number 110b, left and number 90 to the right. Chinese Kangxi Period, 1662-1722,Vase Imitating Venetian “Serpent” Goblet, Porcelain, applied handles, with painted decoration, late 17th century, Puchased with funds from the Libbey Endowment, Gift of Edward Drummond Libbey, 2004. A hybrid type combining Chinese and European features, the body of this porcelain vase has a gourd shape common in Chinese blue and white porcelain, whereas the applied handles imitate decorations on Venetian and façon de Venise glasses made in The Netherlands and Germany in the second half of the 17th century. Chinese potters may have used a printed image, but more likely copied this feature from an actual glass (or a wooden form). Serpent-stem glasses were certainly among the Dutch luxury goods traded widely, and it is possible that such vessels were made available to Chinese potters to copy.

More examples or known of various forms of (façon de) Venise glass and a counterpart in Chinese porcelain such as a goblet or a stem cup, however the wing glass and wing vase are the most expressive in form. These were also on display Toledo Museum of Art.


– Collect journal, March 2020,  24th edition, Snoeck publisher, page 7, advertisement Laméris, Amsterdam

– Description objects by Kitty Laméris, Amsterdam March 10th 2020

– Anna-Elisabeth Theuerkauff-Liederwald, Venezianisches Glas der Veste Coburg, Die Sammlung Herzog Alfreds von Sachsen-Coburg und Gotha (1844-1900), Kunstsammlungen der Veste Coburg Luca Verlag Lingen 1994, 644 a.o.

– Vanderven Oriental Art – Kangxi porcelain & Coromandel lacquer, published on Apr 12, 2013 on ISSUU, number 3 Wing Vases, page 20 – 21, Den Bosch, The Netherlands

– Chinese blue and white stem cup, Kangxi (1662-1722) decorated with phoenix amongst scrolling clouds, the foot with Daoist emblems, sold by Guest and Grey, London

– For an illustrated example of this vase see William R. Sargent, Treasures of Chinese Export from the Peabody Essex Museum, p. 123, pl. 35

One Response

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  1. wynkin said, on June 22, 2020 at 6:10 am

    You must have had to be rich and careful to use those wine glasses! Also a servant who was conscientious and calm to wash them and store them.

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