From the 13th to the 18th century Venice was the leading glassmakers’ centre in Europe. One of the reasons for this was the new crystal-clear glass mass, which Venetian glass makers called „cristallo“-glass, because of its similarity to quartz crystal. The other was a new shape of drinking glass. We’re no longer talking about green glass beakers from the Middle Ages here, we’re talking about elegant chalice – shaped and winged glasses with a strict separation in the shape of the foot, stem and drinking chalice, or cupa. They were produced in filigree, or if in white, in Latticino technique, which is derived from the Italian word „latte“ for milk. These so-called „thread,“ glasses led to the blossoming of Venetian glassmaking art at the beginning of the 16th century and the Venetians introduced this glass triumph as „Glas à la facon de Venise.“
The white glass threads of the cupa were made of thick glass rods, which were stretched in a molten state to over 20 m long. Reheated, the threads were then later laid on the cupa and smelted. The wing- design stem of the glass was very popular and was created with coloured glass threads that were formed and curved by hand and the points were pinched into the molten glass. Our museum glassblower, Ralf Marlok has also mastered this very intricate technique using his blowtorch and he is more than happy to make you some Venetian winged glasses based on the original you see here in the museum.