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  • Place of origin:

    England (made)

  • Date:

    ca. 1570 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:

    Glass, painted on the reverse side in unfired enamel colours, with applied gold and silver leaf

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    British Galleries, Room 58, case 1

Object Type
This is a very rare English example of the art of painting on the reverse of glass. Backed with a metal foil, the colours take on a jewelled effect. This technique is commonly known as 'verre églomisé' after the Parisian picture-framer Jean Baptiste Glomy (died 1786), who practised it in the 18th century. The invention of verre églomisé dates far before then, however, and the Museum has several earlier Italian devotional plaques made in this way. Certainly the technique was known in England as early as the 13th century, but by the 17th century the art seems to have died out.

Designed to hang on the wall of a domestic interior, this heraldic panel bears the arms of Anthony Shuckburgh of Warwickshire impaled with those of his second wife, Anne Skeffington. Plaques such as this were used, like stained-glass windows, to advertise a family's status and ancestry. A shield of arms almost identical to this decorates a window in Upper Shuckburgh church and is thought to be the work of the same glass painter.

Materials & Making
The production of verre églomisé involves many stages. First, the outline of the design is painted on the reverse of a pane of clear glass and thick black enamel is applied to those areas that are to remain black. Where areas of shading are required, the glass is coated with a thin wash of reddish-brown enamel which can be scratched away with a needle to create fine details such as the boys' hair. Transparent enamel colours are finally applied and backed with silver or gold leaf foils.

Physical description


Place of Origin

England (made)


ca. 1570 (made)



Materials and Techniques

Glass, painted on the reverse side in unfired enamel colours, with applied gold and silver leaf


Height: 41.7 cm including frame, Width: 37.2 cm maximum, Depth: 3.5 cm

Object history note

Made in England

Descriptive line

Clear glass painted on the underside in enamels, gold and silver leaf with the arms of Shuckbourg impaling Skeffington. England, about 1570

Labels and date

British Galleries:
This rare surviving16th-century heraldic glass panel decorated with engraved silver foil was probably designed to hang on a wall. It shows the heraldic arms of Anthony Shuckburgh and his second wife, Anne Skeffington, and in this way makes a conspicuous display of the high status of the family and its ancestry. [27/03/2003]




Ceramics Collection

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