Nefs (the term comes from the Old French word for “ship”) were luxurious table ornaments and pouring vessels used at royal courts in the Renaissance and Baroque periods. They were made in gold and silver, semiprecious stones, and glass. The first glass nefs are thought to have been produced by Armenia Vivarini on the island of Murano in 1521. Georgius Agricola described a vessel in the form of a ship in his De re metallica (The nature of metals), published in Basel in 1556. This suggests that emigrant Venetian glass artists created objects of this kind in northern Europe not long after they were first made in Venice. This extraordinary vessel in the form of a ship is a technical tour de force and a pinnacle of Renaissance Venetian glassmaking. It is a rare surviving example of one of two basic types of glass nefs that can be distinguished by the shape of their bodies and the presence or absence of trailed decoration. This nef is missing its finial, a small whistle in the form of a hollow fish or dragon, and its handle, which probably resembled a bulbous lantern. The clarity of the cristallo (glass that looks like colorless rock crystal), the impressive size and shape, and the very skillful technical execution of the object explain the enormous appreciation for such glass ornaments (and related drinking-game glasses and table fountains), which were used at banquets for serving wine.