Or are you looking for Search the Archives?

Please complete the form to email this item.

Drinking glass
  • Drinking glass
    Ravenscroft, George, born 1632 - died 1683
  • Enlarge image

Drinking glass

  • Place of origin:

    London (possibly, made)
    Henley-on-Thames (possibly, made)

  • Date:

    ca. 1677 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Ravenscroft, George, born 1632 - died 1683 (glass-maker)
    Savoy Glasshouse (manufacturer)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Lead glass, mould-blown, with ribbing and applied raspberry prunts

  • Credit Line:

    Wilfred Buckley Collection

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    British Galleries, Room 56, The Djanogly Gallery, case 13

Object Type
The 'Roemer' was simply an English copy of the traditional German green drinking glass that is still in use today. Perhaps because so little German wine was consumed in England, the special type of glass was always associated with it.

Because of their infrequent use, several early lead-glass Roemers have survived. Very similar examples with seals of either a raven's head or a letter 'S' are now both considered Ravenscroft products. Documentary evidence shows that this maker used seals in 1676-7, but more precise dating poses a puzzle for glass historians. We know that in 1676 the Roemers could have been made at either of his two glasshouses: at Henley-on-Thames in Oxfordshire, or at the Savoy glasshouse in London. By 1677 the former was closed, however, so they could only have been made in London.

Before George Ravenscroft began producing these in the mid-1670s, the small but steady demand for German-type Roemers led to at least one London glass dealer ordering crystal glass versions from a Venetian glasshouse. Even though the clarity of crystal glass was much admired, it is rather surprising that the cheaper German Roemers were not imported. By the end of the 18th century, however, it became customary for English 'Old Hock' glasses (named after a German wine) to be made of green glass like the originals.

Physical description

Foot: rib-moulded; Bowl: cup

Place of Origin

London (possibly, made)
Henley-on-Thames (possibly, made)


ca. 1677 (made)


Ravenscroft, George, born 1632 - died 1683 (glass-maker)
Savoy Glasshouse (manufacturer)

Materials and Techniques

Lead glass, mould-blown, with ribbing and applied raspberry prunts

Marks and inscriptions

raven's head
applied seal


Height: 16.5 cm, Diameter: 8.6 cm maximum, Weight: 0.26 kg

Object history note

Made by George Ravenscroft (born in 1632, died in 1683) either at the Savoy glasshouse, London or at Henley-on-Thames, Oxfordshire

Descriptive line

Roemer, England (London), George Ravenscroft, probably at the Savoy glasshouse, 1677-1677

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

W A Thorpe, English & Irish Glass (1929) pl.XVI R J Charleston, English Glass (1968) pl.14 John A Brooks, Glass (1973) p.39 Charles Truman, English Glassware to 1900 (1984) pl.7 R J Charleston, English Glass (1984) pl.23d J M Bickerton, Eighteenth Century English Drinking Glasses (1986) pl.23 Exhibited at BFAC Exh.1930, Age of Walnut 1932.

Labels and date

The raven head seal is recorded as having been used by Ravenscroft in 1677. Compare the Roemer (Charleston 1984 pl.24A) at Muzeum Narodowe, Warsaw, probably engraved to commemorate the visit to Danzig of King John Sobieski in 1677-8, and also sealed with the raven head. []
British Galleries:

George Ravenscroft's experience as a major importer of Venetian glass convinced him that he could make a type of glass that was more appealing to the British. In 1674 he toook out a patent to make a 'perticuler sort of Christaline Glasse resembling Rock Cristall'. His operation, using Italian glass workers, was fraught with technical problems until 1676-1677, when he marked his (nearly) perfected glass with a raven's head seal. The heavy and slow-cooling lead-glass admirably suited a simple but elegant style. [27/03/2003]


Glass; Drinking; British Galleries


Ceramics Collection

Large image request

Please confirm you are using these images within the following terms and conditions, by acknowledging each of the following key points:

Please let us know how you intend to use the images you will be downloading.