Pale purple Venetian glass beaker: early 16th century
© Museum of London
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Pale purple Venetian glass beaker with gilded decoration of leaves and an inscription. Part of the side is missing. Only those with sufficient means could afford the best quality European table glass and vessels. This example is exquisitely decorated. The inscription reads: "paynted and guilte". This type of beaker was greatly prized and often made to commission. The beaker has the characteristic gilt dotted enamel patera decoration common on fine Venetian glassware of about 1500. This example was recovered from a chalk-lined cesspit in Great Tower Street, with a leather patten and other table-glass fragments. This vessel was probably cristallo (colourless) originally, the present purple tinge being caused by the chemical breakdown of the manganese oxides which were originally added as a decolourising agent.
1500 AD - 1550 AD