Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Object of the Day: Museum Edition: A Venetian Glass Flask, 1500-1550

The Victoria & Albert Museum

Let's begin our Wednesday with this glass sprinkler bottle with a long and very narrow neck which has been enameled with two coats of arms.

Considered one of the world’s finest luxuries, Venetian enameled and gilt glass was exported all over Europe and found its way into the collections of Royalty and aristocrats.

The shape of this sprinkler—used for scented water--is derived from silver antiquities found in the Middle East. Some of these Middle Eastern metal sprinklers were made especially for the Italian market.

Unfortunately, the coat of arms which has been enameled on this example from 1500 t0 1550 has not been traced to a specific family. It does tell us, however, that this beautiful piece of glass was made as a specific commission for an important Italian family, possibly as a wedding gift as it incorporates the arms of two families. 

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