Ancient Glass Blog of The Allaire Collection


Posted in Uncategorized by Allaire Collection of Glass on January 1, 2021

A Façon de Venise wineglass

of the Henk–Martin Goldschmidt collection

a wineglass possibly from Spain

Description: A smoke-colored goblet, thin-walled glass. Disc base with pontil and rim folded down. On the hollow baluster shaft and on the dome base waffle-like thread supports. The expanded cup with an optical net pattern. Decoration: nipt diamond waies (nipt diamond-wise). The twelve, originally vertical ribs, were on six levels with a pair of tweezers pinched towards each other. The cup is blown into a mold to create the ribs that were then pinched together. Not double but a single glass layer. The coloring is transparent with a hint of orange or reddish, definitely not grey.

Condition: perfect, no restorations, no repair on the upper rim or elsewere.

Remark: Form and appearance may be of Spanish origin. But the lower end of the stem in particular could be the southern Netherlands. So Façon de Venise; it was known that the Spanish as well as the Flemish glassworkers travelled throughout Europe.

Date: façon de Venise, last half 16th, first half 17th century.

Material: soda glass

Dimensions:  Height 13,0 cm, diameter opening 7,0 cm, diameter basis 8,3 cm, inwards folded rim. The cup houses 12 pinched threads as well as 10 waffles. The hollow tapered stem is decorated with 9 waffles. Weight 104 gram and 155 ml capacity. Lightness ratio = volume in ml / weight in gr; is calculated as 1.5 ml/gr.

Origin: The origin of this rare goblet has been the subject of much debate; opinions about the place of manufacture differ widely. At Christie’s, an auction after the Second World War, the glass was assigned to Hall in Tirol, and dated the end of the 16th century. A production in the southern Netherlands or southern France / Spain is also a possibility, is what the Fischer catalogue presents. They provide no information on the provenance. Hard to define therefore, so we looked for parallels. The Corning Museum Of Glass (59.3.50, Collection of The Corning Museum of Glass, Corning, NY, USA.) has a glass of transparent greenish glass with pincered opaque white decorations, a twisted bowl and pattern-moulded knop. It is marked as from Cataluña, eighteenth century and has a height of 11.1 cm. It is called a wineglass as well as a salt cellar. A wineglass was found in the collection of the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam (page 38, number 35, Glass in het Rijksmuseum, Volume I, P.C. Ritsema van Eck, H.M. Zijlstra-Zweens, 1993) with identical as well as the same number of vertical ribs. But no waffles were present. This glass was described as Dutch Façon de Venice and second half 17 th century.

59.3.50, Collection of The Corning Museum of Glass

The glass with the three arrays of pincered discs decorations emerging from the outer surfaces has definitely some resemblance (plate 27B). It is dated as eighteenth century and Cataluña. It is at the Corning museum of Glass, NY. Drinking glasses of this period are so diverse in shape and style that they are not easily described. Two functions are attributed to this item: a wineglass and a saltcellar. Looking at the practical use this item could probably have served as a saltcellar much more as a wineglass. However the item descripted here can only be a drinking glass, it handles fine and the waffle decoration does not influence in a negative way the functionality as a drinking glass.

Discussion: the technique of pincered waffle decorations is quiet common in Spanish Façon de Venise glass during the early nineteenth century, but also 17th  and 18th  century (Spanish Glass by Alice Wilson Frothingham, plates 27B, 32A, 43 and 48A). However the questions unanswered pile up. What is the origin? Until now we have the feeling this glass is from Cataluña due to its stylish characteristics, however the stem form is not typically Spanish much more Flemish, especially the part between the cup and the lower part of the stem. What is the production period? Judging the glass structure and its color it could be as early the last half of the 16th century but the parallel glass is classified as 18th century. Quiet a margin though.

Conclusion: So the look and feel of the glass does fit with a Spanish origin, however the color appears a lot in France and Belgium.  Maybe a study specifically focused on the various waffles types (some of the Spanish items do have softened waffles) and  / or a XRF analysis would help here. The crimps applied could also point towards a possible production site.

Provenance: Christie’s auction house, London, acquired through Dr Fischer Kunstauktionen, March 21th 2020, lot # 20.


– Spanish Glasss by Alice Wilson Frothingham, Faber, London, 1963, illustration 27B, description on page 49 (date eighteenth century), chapter 2 ‘Cataluña and neighbouring regions’, page 137, salt dish (#11).

– Spanish glass in the hermitage by Michailowa, O., Aurora Art Publishers, Leningrad, 1970 (plates 30 – 47 from Andalusia, # 55  – 98) with many waffle applications.

– Beyond Venice, glass in venetian style 1500 – 1750 by Jutta-Anette Page a.o., CMOG, New York, 2004, pp 84 – 141.

– Europäisches Glass und Studioglas, Dr. Fischer Kunstauktionen, 278 Auktion, March 21st 2020, page 11, lot 20.

One Response

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  1. wynkin said, on January 1, 2021 at 6:43 am

    I cannot wait to get my time machine.

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