skip to content

English glass technology in the sixteenth century was less advanced than on the Continent, and luxury drinking vessels of colourless glass known as cristallo were imported from Venice. Demand outstripped supply, and in 1567 Jean Carré from Antwerp set up a glasshouse in London to produce Venetian-style glass. By 1571 he had been joined by Giacomo Verzelini, a Venetian, who had worked in Antwerp for many years. On Carré's death in 1572, Verzelini took over the running of the glasshouse, and in 1574 was granted a patent giving him the sole right to make and sell Venetian-style glass for 21 years. Two year later he was granted denization, and remained in England for the rest of his life. This goblet is one of nine attributed to Verzelini's glasshouse on the basis of their diamond-point engraved decoration, which incorporates dates between 1577 and 1586. The deep bowl is engraved with a stag, a unicorn, and hounds, with cartouches below enclosing the owners' initials RT and AT entwined by lover's knots, and the date 1578. This was probably the work of Anthony de Lysle, a Frenchman recorded in London in 1583 as a 'graver in puter and glass'.