Standing cup with cover

Mounts by Matthäus Baur II

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 521

Although red glass had been produced for stained glass in Northern Europe since the Middle Ages, its use had not extended to vessel glass. It was not until the German chemist Johann Kunckel experimented in the later seventeenth century that a true ruby red glass was made suitable for vessel glass, at Potsdam, under the Duke of Brandenburg. The secret of the formula was very soon well-known; a workshop in Freising made a specialty of making novelties in this material and sending them to Augsburg to be mounted in silver gilt. The family of Matthäus Baur and his sons were specialists in this. The coloring factor in ruby glass was gold in the glass mass, and this was an ingredient that made red glass expensive and exclusive. Gold was also thought to be anti-toxic and to protect from poison anyone who drank from it.

A very similar goblet (now in the Danish Royal collection), in the form of an apple, was given to Queen Charlotte-Amalie by her husband Christian V at Christmas 1695; it also bears the mark of Matthäus Baur II.

Standing cup with cover, Mounts by Matthäus Baur II (ca. 1653–1728, master ca. 1681), Gold-ruby glass, silver-gilt mounts, German glass with Augsburg silver mounts

Due to rights restrictions, this image cannot be enlarged, viewed at full screen, or downloaded.

Open Access

As part of the Met's Open Access policy, you can freely copy, modify and distribute this image, even for commercial purposes.


Public domain data for this object can also be accessed using the Met's Open Access API.