Pair of Flasks

Ambito veneziano

Venice, Fifteenth century

Gilded silver, enamel, rock crystal, 34 x 26.5cm

Inv. 6918, 6919

The Galleria Estense, Modena

These two splendid objects from the Estense collections were likely to have been made in Venice. Indeed, Northern artisans had set up budding workshops in the lagoon, spreading both techniques for cutting and grinding rock crystal as well as the decorative craft of using translucent enamel in geometric motifs such as stars, roses and organic racemes. Moreover, records show that in the fifteenth century most of the precious objects purchased by the Este family were acquired in Venice. A flask resembling this pair was also included in one of the intarsia in Duke Federico del Montefeltro’s famous studiolo in Urbino, made in 1476.