Austrian, Hall

Not on view

In 1468 the first Habsburg Holy Roman Emperor, Frederick III, deliberately dropped a glass vase presented to him by the Venetian government, implying that its humble materials were unworthy of him. Mere decades later, Northern royalty courted Venetian glassmakers as they set up workshops in London, Kassel, and the Tyrol. Threatening Venice’s monopoly and divulging professional secrets, the Italian glassmakers faced exile from their homeland. The rich blue hue of this vase, probably made by Venetians supported by Ferdinand II, Archduke of Austria, was achieved by adding cobalt to the mix; the finely engraved surface decoration was originally picked out in gold-infused paint.

[Elizabeth Cleland, 2017]

Vase, Glass, engraved, Austrian, Hall

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