Dear Readers,

As you may have seen elsewhere, in mid February my wife and I suffered the loss of our home in a fire, in the hills of central Massachusetts. The good news is that we got out safely and had no animals in our care at the time. The fire crews were able to contain the fire from spreading, in what turned into a 3-alarm, 5-hour-long ordeal in subzero temperatures; they did amazing work, and no one was injured. The bad news is that all of my physical historical materials and research of 30 years have gone up in smoke. As a result I have decided to suspend this blog for the time being. It will remain online as a resource for those interested in the history of glass and glassmaking in the seventeenth century and beyond. I do intend to resume writing when I can, but for now my time and energy are required in getting us back on our feet.

Friends are providing temporary shelter for us nearby and our intention is to rebuild as soon as possible. To those who have reached out with a steady hand, to those who have opened their wallets, and offered advice in our time of need, we thank you from the bottom of our hearts. In what are already difficult times for all of us, you have made a huge difference in our lives.

Paul Engle
6 March, 2021

Picture Credits 2021

 January 2021

The Duke's Oil (5 February 2021):
Trajan's Column, Rome, Giovanni Battista Piranesi (1758), Hind 51iii(of vii). Etching and engraving, Plate 31 from the Vedute di Roma (Views of Rome). Courtesy of R. E Lewis and Daughter

Supplemental illustration: (4 February 2021): Michelangelo Caravaggio, Jupiter, Neptune and Pluto, c. 1597. Casino Ludovisi. Courtesy of Wikipedia:,_Neptune_and_Pluto

Alchemist Cardinal (3 February 2021):
Ottavio Leoni Portrait of Francesco Maria del Monte (1578–1630). Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

Neri's Travels (1 February 2021): “Roma,” Antonio Neri, from Tesoro del Mondo (Neri 1598–1600), Courtesy of University of Glasgow Library, Special Collections.

Supplemental illustration: (30 January 2021): The Museo del Vetro (Museum of Glass) is housed in the Palazzo Giustinian, the largest Baroque palace in Murano. Photo courtesy of

Don Giovanni (29 January 2021):
Portrait of Don Giovanni di Cosimo I de’ Medici, attribution unknown,  courtesy of  Pinacoteca Nazionale di Siena

Supplemental illustration (27 January 2021): North Italian apothecary's shop in a Hebrew manuscript of the Canon Medicinae of Avicenna, c. 1450-75. Bibliotheca Universitaria, Bologna, Italy, MS 2197, fol. 492. Courtesy of

The Kabbalah (27 January 2021):
Kabbalistic Sephiroth Tree, from Portae Lucis, Paulus Ricius (Trans. of “Shaare ora” by Joseph Gikatilla) Augsburg, 1516.

Supplemental illustration (25 January 2021): The former church of San Jacopo in Campo Corbolini in Florence, administered by the Knights of Malta (aka of Saint John)

Knights of Malta  (25 January 2021):
Michelangelo Caravaggio, “Fra Antonio Martelli, Knight Grand Cross of the Order of Malta,” from about 1608. (Museum of Fine Arts, Boston) Photo courtesy of

Supplemental Twitter illustration (23 January 2021): Portrait of Don Antonio de' Medici, 1618, Theodor Kruger. Burin engraving, Florence, Museo Galileo, acquisition no. SD B 384  

Don Antonio de’ Medici (22 January 2021):
Frontispiece from Pierfilippo Covoni, Don Antonio de' Medici Al Casino Di San Marco, Firenze, 1892. Image from personal collection of Paul Engle. There is a public domain copy here:

Supplemental illustration (21 January 2021): Title page from Antonio Neri's 1612 book L'Arte Vetraria [the art of glassmaking]

Eyes of a Lynx (20 January 2021):
The seal of the Academia dei Lincei. Courtesy of Accademia dei Lincei, Palazzo Corsini - Via della Lungara, 10, Rome.

Suplemental illustration  (19 January 2021): Galileo Galilei, objective lens, Padua, late 1609
Glass, 58 mm, Later mounted in a commemorative frame (1677) , Museo Galileo, Florence, inv.2429

The Glassblower and the Astronomer (18 January 2021):
Justus Sustermans (1597-1681), portrait of Galileo Galilei, 1636 (detail). National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London, Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.,_1636.jpg

Supplemental Twitter illustration (16 January 2021): Glass ,Venetian Murano ewer, aventurine glass, Salviati 1880's

Aventurine (15 January 2021):
Classe VI, n. 3458. / Figure 5: Small amphora in aventurine glass with handles in “rigadin” decorated with colorless “morise”, Murano, Salviati doc. (e verre aventurine (« avventurina ») : son histoire, les recettes, les analyses, sa fabrication, by Moretti, Gratuze, Hreglich.

Supplemental Twitter illustration: (14 January 2021): Hall of Mirrors, The Golestan Palace, Tehran, Iran. Photo courtesy of

Olearius on Glass (13 January 2021)
Adam Olearius (1599-1671), 18th century engr, Attr. unknown, source:  (Probably a copy of: 1669 oil on canvas portrait by Juriaen Ovens (1623-1678) ) see: .

What Goes Around Comes Around (11, 12 January 2021)Map of Ulm, Germany, Ulm - "Ulma Imperialis in Sueuia urbs, fortissimo aquae et muror ambitu, magnifico templo, et Danubij propiquitate illustris."  Georg Braun & Franz Hogenberg 1570-78. Copper engraving, original color in outline and wash. 107 by 470mm (4¼ by 18½ inches). B&H Vol. I. #31

Supplemental illustration (8 January 2021): Self-portrait of Parmigianino in a convex mirror. Oil on wood (1523), Kunsthistorisches Museum.

Reflections on the Mirror (January 2021):
[1]Jan van Eyck, The Arnolfini Portrait (1434), National Gallery, London, courtesy of Wikipedia,

[2] Detail of same.

A Band of Alchemists: (6, 7 January 2021:
The Alchemist 1558, Pieter Brugle the Elder. British Museum, London,

Supplemental illustration: (5 January 2021): Alchemical glassware. Antonio Neri (1576-1612), "Libro intitulato Il tesoro del mondo" MS Ferguson 67, GB 0247, Glasgow University Library, Special Collections, 1598–1600. f. 38.

Art and Science (4 Januaryr 2021): Jacopo Ligozzi,1518,  fanciful glass vessels, ink and watercolor on paper. Galleria degli Uffizi.

Emerald Green Glass (1, 2 January 2021)Assisi frescoes, entry into Jerusalem. Pietro Lorenzetti, 1320. Assisi, Lower Basilica, San Francesco, southern transept. Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons:

Saint Justina of Padua with a palm frond, Bartolo Montagna 1490s, oil on wood. Courtesy of The Metropolital Museum of Art,  Accession Number: 14.40.606.

Copper Sulfate (vitriol of copper), courtesy of  Wikimedia Commons: Photo by: ‘Stephanb’

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