Duk d’Alf Bell

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Object Name: 
Drinking Goblet and Bell
Title: 
Duk d’Alf Bell
Accession Number: 
2011.3.116
Dimensions: 
Overall H: 19.4 cm, Diam (max): 13.7 cm
Location: 
Not on Display
Date: 
1575-1600
Web Description: 
This Venetian-style glass is both a drinking goblet and a bell. The glass ring on the inside originally held a glass clapper. The applied decoration of gilded masks and turquoise dots allows a firm attribution to a glasshouse in Antwerp. The history of such bells recalls a period of time that is known both for the finest façon de Venise glassmaking and for turbulent political struggles that spurred their design and use. These glass bells are closely related to the Dutch Revolt (1567– 1609) and especially to the battle in which William of Orange (1533–1584) and his Protestant provinces fought against the Catholic occupation by the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V (1500–1558) and his son Philip II of Spain (1527–1598). The third duke of Alva, Fernando Álvarez de Toledo (1507–1582), was the hated governor of the Netherlands from 1567 to 1573. According to a 1732 publication on Dutch eating and drinking habits (see below), bell-shaped drinking glasses were used at a banquet in 1581 during which the Dutch government decided to battle the Spanish king. Those who attended the banquet first drank wine from the bells and then turned them over and rang them to “sound away” the Spanish. This use of the bells was continued by the Dutch people following the duke’s reign. This type of drinking bell was first published and illustrated in Kornelis van Alkemade, Nederlandse displegtigheden, Rotter¬dam, 1732, v. 2, pp. 512–516. That publication describes both the use and the political context of glass drinking bells.
Department: 
Provenance: 
Frides Lameris Kunst en Antiekhandel V.O.F., Source
2011
Primary Description: 
Drinking Goblet and Bell, "Duk d'Alf Bell". Colorless glass; blown, mold-blown, applied, hot-worked, gilded. This glass is both a drinking glass and a bell. It is shaped like a bell and has one glass thread applied around the rim and two wound around the body, all three gilded. Three gilded masks of a male face with a circle on the forehead are applied above the upper glass thread. The masks alternate with three small raspberry prunts with a turquoise bead in the center. The stem and handle has a long cylindrical section with four applied loops, surmounted by a solid capstan knop atop a flattened ball knop with traces of gilding. Inside the goblet/bell is a glass ring that, originally, held a glass clapper.
The Corning Museum of Glass Annual Report 2011 (2012) illustrated, pp. 7, 30;
The Corning Museum of Glass: Notable Acquisitions 2011 (2012) illustrated, p. 10; BIB# AI87745