fineness of its Glass. Judging from the curious specimens to be
seen in this country, the Venetian Glass-blowers must have been artists
of considerable skill. A Glass knife-handle, supposed to be their work,
has an exterior coating of white transparent Glass, enclosing differently
coloured Glass, fused into one variegated mass. The effect of these
colours under the white Glass is very pleasing. The
Venetian ball is a similar specimen of ingenuity.
The exterior coating of white Glass is, in some specimens, much decomposed
and defaced by time; but the beauty of the interior workmanship is
easily restored by the usual mode of polishing Glass. (See
, fig. 1.)
The Bohemians were formerly very celebrated
for their extensive Glass-works. They imitated the Venetians in their
curious method of ornamenting Glass-ware, which has since become well
known, and was at one time much in repute in this country. In making
the stems of wine-glasses and goblets, they enclosed white and coloured
enamel tubes, twisted together with colourless transparent Glass. A most
beautifully engraved vase by a Bohemian artist, is in the possession
of the author; the workmanship is even more elaborate than that of the
Portland Vase: the subject is from Le Brun's painting of the conquest
and final overthrow of the Persians at the battle of
Alexander the Great.
For depth of workmanship and artistic execution, as a modern intaglio
engraving, this vase is unrivalled.
In Howel's Familiar Letters we find
some curious details of Venice, and her Glass-making celebrity.
The first Letter containing these records, is dated, "Venice, May 30,
1621," and states: "Among other little gentile ilands which attend