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glass-lnks – 12/25/03


A set of web links to information on medieval glass by Dame Aoife Finn of Ynos Mon.


NOTE: See also the files: glass-bib, glasswork-msg, ceramics-bib, enameling-msg, stained-glass-lnks, utensils-msg, p-tableware-msg, beads-msg, beadwork-msg.





This file is a collection of various messages having a common theme that I  have collected from my reading of the various computer networks. Some messages date back to 1989, some may be as recent as yesterday.


This file is part of a collection of files called Stefan's Florilegium. These files are available on the Internet at: http://www.florilegium.org


I  have done  a limited amount  of  editing. Messages having to do  with separate topics  were sometimes split into different files and sometimes extraneous information was removed. For instance, the  message IDs  were removed to save space and remove clutter.


The comments made in these messages are not necessarily my viewpoints. I make  no claims  as  to the accuracy  of  the information  given by the individual authors.


Please  respect the time  and  efforts of  those who have written  these messages. The  copyright status  of these messages  is  unclear at this time. If  information  is  published  from  these  messages, please give credit to the originator(s).


Thank you,

    Mark S. Harris                  AKA:  THLord Stefan li Rous

                                          Stefan at florilegium.org



From: Lis <liontamr at ptd.net>

Date: Mon Dec 22, 2003 11:08:43 PM US/Central

To: Stefan li Rous <StefanliRous at austin.rr.com>

Subject: Links: Medieval Glass;


Greetings Gentle Readers


This week's Links list focuses on GLASS--not stained glass, but rather

utility glass, those objects and vessels that were in constant use in  the

Middle Ages no matter where your cultural interest lies. Curiously, we don't

see a lot of glass in re-enactments and SCA events, which is a grave

omission in my humble opinion. Glass-making at a fairly sophisticated level

existed in nearly every civilization throughout our period of study, and

Glass objects are commonly found amongst other archaeologically found

leavings in all of those cultures. Historical Glass objects are a thing of

beauty to be admired and used. Below you will find twenty-odd links on the



Please forward this list wherever it will find an interested audience, and

use it to update  your own WebPages.


Have a wonderful and happy holiday season. May your days be merry and



W¾s H¾il




Dame Aoife Fin of Ynos Mon




Early Medieval Glass


(Site Excerpt: Examples of artifacts in photographs and descriptions from a

seller of antiquities) MINIATURE GLASS PITCHER VII-X cent. A.D. Clear,

colorless glass. Spherical body with high conical neck; bolster-shape rim;

concave bottom. Top part of attached handle is open to interior. Neck


Height 2" (5.2 cm).


Roman, Byzantine and Early Medieval Glass (Book for Sale)


(Site Excerpt) With the instincts of a true connoisseur, Ernest Wolf built a

remarkably comprehensive collection of Roman, Byzantine, and early Medieval

glasswork that is published here for the first time. Together these objects

trace the formation of the great Roman glass industry and follow its

development through the early Middle Ages. Written in clear, non-technical

language, and readily accessible to the non-specialist, Roman, Byzantine and

Early Medieval Glass consists of five chapters...


Medieval Glass (List of Links)



Regia Anglorum: Glass and Amber


(Site Excerpt) Glass was used in a number of ways by the Saxons and Vikings;

for drinking vessels, window glass, jewelery, enameling and beads. A graphic

of some of the more common bead styles

Remains of glass making furnaces have been found in York and Glastonbury.

There is further evidence for glass making in Kent, Jarrow, Barking Abbey,

Gloucester and Lincoln, and Bede documents glass making in England.


Glassmaking in Antiquity

by: Susan Hampton


(Site Excerpt) In ancient times molten glass was kept in a liquid state

using a wood-burning furnace. It takes a lot of wood to heat a furnace over

1000 degrees. We don't have any specific details from Roman times, but Pam

Rossmen from the Jamestown glasshouse gave a comparison from 1608 A.D. It

would take enough wood to build a two story house to heat the furnace for

just one run of glass. Imagining how much glass was being made through out

the empire and it is easy to see how the natural wood supplies would become

exhausted quickly. This forced the glassmakers to move to other districts

once they had exhausted the wood in the surrounding forest. Glass making was

not an environmentally friendly process.


The History of Glass in the Lusatian Mountain Region

By Jaroslav Rez (in cooperation with Michal Gelnar


(Site Excerpt) The tradition of glass making in the Lusatian Mountains is

more than seven hundred years old. During its long history there were

several periods when this quiet region in the north of Bohemia went down in

the world history of this extraordinary craft. More serious and intensive

research into the history of glass making in this region has been made from

the early 1960's by V‡clav Sacher from the Museum of Glass in Nový Bor. His

activities were followed by young and middle-aged generations of



Celtic Glass


(Site Excerpt) Most glass artifacts dating to the Celtic La TŽne period were

core formed or rod formed.  Core formed objects were made by molding molten

glass around a removable core or center.  This core usually consisted of a

combination of dung and clay mixed with water, so that it may be shaped and

attached to some type of metal rod.  The core was then covered with glass

and shaped in a kiln using the metal rod and other tools.  Patterns and

colors were added to the artifact using the rod forming method or a

variation thereof. This method was most commonly used in the production of

glass beads.


Books on Glass (Incl Islamic)


Use the search feature to search for titles, which appear with descriptions

and ISBN.


Medieval glass vessels







Cyprus - Byzantine Glass Lamp


(Site Excerpt) Ecclesiastical objects such as lamps and ritual vessels. This

example: Glass lamp, from the church of Panagia Kanakaria at Lythrangom.

Diameter 8.7 cm. Height 12.8 cm. 12th century A.D.


History of Murano Glass

by Michele Zampedri


(Site Excerpt) It is presumed that later the technique was refined in Venice

more than any where else in Europe because of the trading contacts that the

Venetians had with the Orient and above all with countries that already had

an ancient tradition in glass blowing such as the Fenici, the Syrians and

the Egyptians. Such traditions, renewed in the celebrated furnaces of Islam,

were an occasion to reconstruct both Western and Oriental knowledge and

techniques there by giving the Venetian production a particularness that

made their glass so important throughout the world over the course of



British Museum

Medieval and Roman Enamels Compared


(Site Excerpt--very brief chemical analysis) Medieval window glass could not

have been used to make the enamels. However, if we compare a Roman blue

enamel with a medieval one we find that they are very close: The Roman

glasses are also made opaque by particles rich in antimony, just like the

medieval enamels. It looks as if Roman glass was used to make twelfth

century medieval enamels.


The BUFAU Post-Medieval Glass Archive


(Site Excerpt) This site aims to provide online access to two research

reports examining the glass finds recovered from excavations undertaken in

the Bull Ring area of Birmingham, Banbury and Lichfield.

The first report focuses on the finds from the Bull Ring excavations.  A

considerable proportion of the finds in this case were bottles and,

therefore, bottles formed the basis of post-excavation work in preparation

for the production of this report.  The report highlights how the assemblage

was dated by using an analysis of the technology used to manufacture the





(Site Excerpt---poor translation but excellent information)  During the

Middle Ages in Bulgarian State the progress of material culture and trades

are developed by production and exchange between neighboring countries. The

glass is used for decoration of palaces, monasteries and churches but also

for ordinary a mode of people life: the cult of religion, the rituals,

funerals, ect. The most of artifacts have been discovered by archeological

excavations. This information can be seen in the Bulgaria map, with medieval

necropolis and villages from XI-th c. to XII-th c. A.D. In the region of

South East Bulgaria a huge number of this kind historical monuments has been

found. Between them the most popular are the necropolis by village Lubenovo,

Kovachevo, Stambolovo, etc. The Byzantine glass bracelets different by color

and shape are found. Some of them are black, blue and green with diverse



Reconstructing processes and facilities of production: a late medieval

glasshouse in the Schonbuch Forest. (Read entire article with a 7 day free

trial of the news service)


(Site Excerpt with apologies for the huge URL) Since 1992, survey and

excavation of a glasshouse site close to the former Cistercian monastery of

Bebenhausen (Kreis Altdorf, Baden-Wurttemberg) have been under way. The

remains are extraordinarily well preserved, allowing detailed reconstruction

of processes and facilities of production on the site.


The Glass of the Sultans

Metropolitan Museum of Art


(Site Excerpt) Glass of the Sultans is the first museum survey of rare

Islamic glass, and contains nearly 160 objects (on loan from 20

institutions) from various regions in the Islamic world, including Egypt,

Syria, Syro-Palestine, Iran, Iraq, and Central Asia, dating from the 7th to

14th Century, as well as later works from Persia, India, and Europe in the

Islamic style. The range of material is thus wide-including a vast array of

shapes, styles and colors--unexpectedly so for those of us uninitiated to

the variety of techniques in glassmaking.


Glass Apothecary Vials (Glass Museum)

by Walt Rigling photos by Ron Saylor


(Site Excerpt) Glass Footed Vials of the 15th to 18th Centuries: There was a

long pause in production of apothecary's vials during the "dark ages" and

through medieval times. The small glass medicinal vial re-emerged in

relative quantity particularly around Germany and the Baltic regions during

the "Renaissance" period.

Through the 15th to 18th centuries we find the crude yet charming "footed"

vials seen here and at the top of this page. They average from 8 to 10cm in

height. The term "footed" refers to the small disc of glass applied to the

base of these bottles, as you can see in the photograph later in this



Joseph Wright's Glossary of Glass


(Site Excerpt) ALATI

Glasses or goblets with lateral glass "wings" attached to the sides above

the handles for decorative purposes. Known in Germany as FlŸgelglaser, these

were manufactured during the 16th and 17th centuries.


A wooden chest used for mixing the glassmaking mixture.


Smaller alboli.


Muranese term which indicates the completion of an object (a flower, an

animal, etc.) in a continuous manner which does not require successive

applications of parts in glass, or successive reheating. This mode is also

used when the object is small and a careful execution is not necessary.


Some Glass Facts


(Site Excerpt) The revolutionary discovery that glass could be blown and

expanded to any shape was made in the third quarter of the 1st century BC,

in the Middle East along the Phoenician coast. Glassblowing soon spread and

became the standard way of shaping glass vessels until the 19th century. The

necessary tool is a hollow iron pipe about 1.2 m (4 ft) long with a

mouthpiece at one end. The glassblower, or gaffer, collects a small amount

of molten glass, called a gather, on the end of the blowpipe and rolls it

against a paddle or metal plate to shape its exterior (marvering) and to

cool it slightly. The gaffer then blows into the pipe, expanding the gather

into a bubble, or parison.


Islamic Art: Early Medieval Art


Several examples of glass shown amongst other artifacts.


Viking Answer Lady: Viking Drinking Traditions (with 6 glass vessels shown

as example)



Catalogs of Ancient through Renaissance Glass



<the end>

Formatting copyright © Mark S. Harris (THLord Stefan li Rous).
All other copyrights are property of the original article and message authors.

Comments to the Editor: stefan at florilegium.org