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Glass bell beaker

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posted on 2021-10-27, 15:33 authored by Helena HamerowHelena Hamerow
Brent 1863, 316: The Glass Vessel.-This is of very delicate material, and of the usual pale-green colour of Saxon glass. It has, as will be seen in the illustration, much of the common raised thread-work upon it, some of which has taken the form of five arched ornaments, springing from knobs or drops standing nearly a quarter of an inch out from the glass near its bottom; and it terminates in a sixth knob. It is of an unusual, perhaps unique shape, as the produce of an Anglo-Saxon grave, but bears some resemblance to a specimen taken from one of the graves of the Alemanni at Oberflacht, in Suabia, as described by Mr. Wylie in Archaeologia (vol. xxxvi. part 1). When first taken out of the grave, amid all its iridescent qualities, it presented a prevailing ruby or reddish-brown colour. Mr. Wylie alludes to a similar appearance in some glass vessels found in ancient graves in Germany, which, he suggests, may have arisen from the residuum of wine or blood.[1] Probably it is one of a class of vessels manufactured expressly for funeral rites, as its material and form are far too delicate for daily use. Its height is about five inches.[1] This is but the ordinary result of decomposition on glass, and may at least be proved to be no residuum of the last contests of the glass by its appearance on the outside as well as the inside. On another glass vessel, found at Sarr, there is so thick an outer crust of brown, which has, too, so strong a smell, that I was inclined to think it might have been coated with paint; but a great authority on ancient glass, to whom I have shewn it, assures me that both crust and smell are occasioned by decomposition.- T. G. F.Glass vessel by head.The catalogue number KAS 261 is based on the comparison of the figure of a glass vessel in the catalogue (Payne 1892a, pl. i.4) and the same figure that appears in Brent 1863, pl. III. – D.H.


Grave ID

Sarre Grave 4

Object ID


Catalogue Number

KAS 261


glass (Sonia Hawkes Material Notes; glass) (Antiquarian Material; glass)

Complete Keyword List (Including Alternatives)

glass vessel (Sonia Hawkes Keyword; vessel) (Antiquarian Keyword; vessel)




Maidstone Museum


Kent Archaeological Society

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