The Rijksmuseum owns close to 2000 glass objects ranging from delicate Venetian glass to Waldglas (‘forest glass’: robust green beakers with prunts; roemers and berkemeiers, types of drinking glasses) and 18th-century engraved glass to modern pieces crafted by the 19th-century French glass blower Emile Gallé and the 20th-century Dutch artist Andries Copier.
The core of the collection comprises Dutch glass, either produced and/or engraved in the Netherlands. Inscriptions and images were engraved on glass in a variety of techniques particularly in the 17th and 18th century. Among the exceptional objects are a roemer with a poem to Constantijn Huygens engraved by Anna Roemer Visscher, a dish with a calligraphed text by the glass engraver and poet Willem van Heemskerk, and an elegant wine glass with a scene engraved by Willem Fortuyn.
The museum also boasts a 16th-century ‘dice glass’ (with a die still enclosed in the base). In addition there are international masterpieces, such as various fantastically shaped and coloured Venetian glasses and bottles.
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