Museo Galileo
Virtual Museum
    • Setting:
      Room VIII
    • Maker:
    • Place:
    • Date:
      late 16th cent. - early 17th cent.
    • Materials:
      transparent glass
    • Dimensions:
      height 195 mm, diameter 170 mm
    • Inventory:
      104, 105
    • Chalices (Inv. 104, 105)
    • Chalices (Inv. 104, 105)

Two chalices made of transparent glass. The first has a round foot, a shallow cup mounted on a thin baluster stem, a faceted knop, and two small disks at the end. Its shape resembles objects found in the Veneto beginning in the first half of the sixteenth century.

The second chalice has a round foot, a thin baluster stem, a faceted knop, a double disk, and a distinctive shallow cup with central depression. Illustrated in Giovanni Maggi's manuscript Bicchierografia (1604), its design is a variant of the previous chalice. Both were produced in Tuscany à la façon de Venise.

Chalices of this type, along with variously shaped small stands and vases, are depicted in the Accademia del Cimento manuscripts preserved in the Biblioteca Nazionale Centrale of Florence. They were used to observe the "smoke given off by glasses filled with ice," a scientific experiment also described in the Saggi di naturali esperienze [Examples of natural experiments] (Florence, 1667).