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Vase (One of a Pair)

A work made of glass and silver gilt.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of glass and silver gilt.


c. 1675–c. 1685


Northern Netherlands
Mounts possibly English

About this artwork

This large vase, one of a pair in the Art Institute, was part of a garniture—a set of large ornamental vessels, often ceramic or precious metal like silver—displayed on tall cabinets or fireplace mantels. Glass garnitures are rare, and likely intended to replicate rock crystal (quartz) vessels. The fine silver-gilt mounts add ornament as well as strengthen their fragile rims. Another similar vase is in the Victoria and Albert Museum, which may have been part of the same garniture.

Late seventeenth-century glass production in the Netherlands was highly experimental. Large vessels like these represented the technical limits for the art of glass blowing in this period. Risks were also taken in the composition of the glass. Concocted from an unstable formula of potash (alkali), lime, and silica, both vases are now crizzled (cracked all over), creating a hazy-effect. It is unclear in the case of these vases if this crizzling happened immediately after production or as it decomposed over time.

Currently Off View

European Decorative Art


Vase (One of a Pair)


Netherlands, northern




Glass and silver gilt


42.9 x 15.9 cm (16 7/8 x 6 1/4 in.)

Credit Line

Gift of Neville and John Bryan

Reference Number


Extended information about this artwork

Object information is a work in progress and may be updated as new research findings emerge. To help improve this record, please email . Information about image downloads and licensing is available here.


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