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 2013

December 2013
The Golden Sun
Robert Fludd, Utriusque Cosmi (1617),v. 2, p. 19.

Scientific Glassware
Antonio Neri, "Libro intitulato Il tesoro del mondo di Pietre Antonio Neri" (MS Ferguson 67, GB 0247, Glasgow University Library, Special Collections, 1598-1600), f. 38.

Buon Natale
Calissons based on sixteenth century recipe of Florentine apothecary Stefanno Rossell. Photo: Lori Engle 2013.

Enameled Pendant, Pope Gregory IX, attr. Italian, mid 17th  c.
Mid Seventeenth century double sided enameled pendant. On one side with the image of Pope Gregory IX on the other side St Ambrosius. Probably Italian ca 1650. via

Don Antonio and the “French Disease”
Venus and Mercury with Cupid, Nicolas Chaperon (1612-1655). Courtesy of Musée du Louvre. Via Wikimedia Commons:,_Mercure_et_l'Amour.jpg

Prince Rupert's Drops
Christopher Merrett, The Art of Glass, 1662, p. 354. Personal collection of Paul Engle.

Prince Rupert of the Rhine, Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons,_nephew_of_King_Charles_I,_grandson_of_James_I,_great-grandson_of_Mary,_Queen_of_Scots.jpg

A Wee Bit Stroppy
Christopher Merrett, watercolor, George Perfect Harding, c1820-50, RCP Heritage Collections. Via

The 1666 Great Fire of London, "Ludgate in Flames" (c. 1670), Attrib. Unknown. Courtesy of Wikipedia:,_with_Ludgate_and_Old_St._Paul%27s.JPG

Photo: Krén, Emil and Daniel Marx, Web Gallery of Art. Frescoes in the Cappella Scrovegni (Arena Chapel), Padua by Giotto, 1306, via

Faux Pearls
Johannes Vermeer, "Girl with a pearl earring" (1665-6). Courtesy of Royal Picture Gallery Mauritshuis, via Wikipedia:

Glass Salt
Denis Diderot, Jean le Rond d'Alembert eds., L'Encyclopédie, Vol. 10 (1772), “Wood Glass Making,” Raking Out Baked Frit (Verrerie – Verrerie en bois ou petite verrerie à pivette) fig. 15.

The Rise and Fall
“Merry Company,” 1623. Gerard van Honthorst (1590–1656),
Courtesy of Staatsgalerie im Neuen Schloss, Schleißheim, via Wikimedia commons.,_Gerard_van_-_Merry_Company_-_1623.jpg

Royal Apothecary
Fresco, early 16th century speziale, Castello di  Issogne, lower Aosta Valley, Italy.Courtesy of Istituto Comprensivo Edmondo de Amicis - Marcallo con Casone.

Metal Veins of the Earth 
Antonio Neri, "Libro intitulato Il tesoro del mondo di Pietre Antonio Neri" (MS Ferguson 67, GB 0247, Glasgow University Library, Special Collections, 1598-1600) f. 5r, 6r.

November 2013
A Matter of Plagiarism (M.G. Grazzini)
Francesco Lana Terzi (1631-1687), Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons (Italy).

Title page of Lana Terzi's Prodromo, Courtesy of Internet Archives.

Cardinal del Monte
Ottavio Leoni Portrait of Francesco Maria del Monte (1578–1630). Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

Tin into Silver
Joseph Wright of Derby, 1771, The Alchymist. Courtesy of the Derby Museum and Gallery, via Wikimedia commons.

Floor mosaic in the Cathedral of Siena c. 1480, Hermes Trismegistus. Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

Photo by Lori Engle, 2011. Paul Engle outside entrance to the Neri Chapel at S. M. Maddalena dei Pazzi, Florence.

Galileo and Glass
Justus Sustermans (1597-1681), portrait of Galileo Galilei, 1636 (detail). National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London, Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.,_1636.jpg

The Dance of Lead Crystal
George Ravenscroft, Roemer type drinking glass c. 1677. Victoria and Albert Museum Collection. C.530-1936 (British Galleries, room 56d, case 13).

The Inquisition
Inquisition coat of arms, 1573. “EXURGE DOMINE ET JUDICA CAUSAM TUAM. PSALM. 73”. Enciclopedia Española. Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

San Giovanni
Giacomo Brogi (1822-1881), "Florence - Church of San Giovani, the Baptistry". Catalogue # 3022. Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.,_Giacomo_(1822-1881)_-_n._3022_-_Firenze_-_Chiesa_di_San_Giovanni_o_Battistero.jpg

Black is Beautiful
Thomas Webb Black Cameo Glass Vase c. 1900.

The Purse of Envy
Antonio Neri, "Libro intitulato Il tesoro del mondo di Pietre Antonio Neri" (MS Ferguson 67, GB 0247, Glasgow University Library, Special Collections, 1598-1600) f. 5r.

The Duke's Mouthwash
Ferdinando de’ Medici (1549-1609), Scipione Pulzone (1544 - 1598), Private collection.,-portrait-of-ferdinando-de-medi-1116-c-d137af3e89

Women in Early Modern Science
Antonio Neri, "Libro intitulato Il tesoro del mondo di Pietre Antonio Neri" (MS Ferguson 67, GB 0247, Glasgow University Library, Special Collections, 1598-1600) f. 25r, 35r, 37r.

October 2013
Deadly Fumes
Nikolaus Alexander  Mair von Landshut, 1605. (active ca. 1485, d 1520). From a series of six engravings of memento mori. Courtesy of The Trustees of the British Museum, Department: Prints & Drawings, Registration number: 1893,1020.4

Chenopodiaceae - Salsola kali. From: Flora batava by Jan Kops and others. Amsterdam, J.C. Sepp, 1807, volume 2 (plate 133). Hand-coloured engraving (sheet 225 x 278 mm).

Carries the Palm
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’

Art and Science
Jacopo Ligozzi, Capriccio of Vases, 1618. watercolor on paper, Galleria degli Uffizi, Firenze.

The Old Post Road
A coach of the middle of the seventeenth century: from an engraving by John Dunstall.
A Student's History of England, v. 2 (of 3),1509-1689, by Samuel Rawson Gardiner

Euer by Niccolo Sisti, Museo Internazionale delle Ceramiche in Faenza. Photo 2009, Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons, the Wikimedia OTRS system, ticket #2009032510047417.

Top Physician
Frontispiece of Ricettario Fiorentino, 1597, by Neri di Jacopo Neri, Giovan Battista Benadù, Francesco Rosselli and Giovanni Galletti. Courtesy of Wellcome Trust.*sform=wellcome-images&_IXACTION_=query&%24%3Dtoday=&_IXFIRST_=1&%3Did_ref=M0011854&_IXSPFX_=templates/t&_IXFPFX_=templates/t&_IXMAXHITS_=1

Manganese from Piedmont
Image of two colored glass discs in green and majenta. Paul Engle 2013, Photoshop.

Like Snow from Heaven
28th December 2005 in Florence (Photo by Marco De La Pierre), Image © [] [] Firenze, Italy 1999-2010.

The Discovery of Glass
Giovan Maria Butteri, Studiolo of Francesco I de' Medici, The Discovery of Glass. Courtesy of the Palazzo Vecchio/ Uffizi Gallery.

The Art of Fire
Antonio Neri, "Libro intitulato Il tesoro del mondo di Pietre Antonio Neri" (MS Ferguson 67, GB 0247, Glasgow University Library, Special Collections, 1598-1600) f. 22r.

Sara Vincx
Detail from: Roses and an iris in a glass vase, crabs and prawns on a pewter platter, a Facon-de-Venise wineglass, a stoneware ewer, a bunch of grapes. By Alexander Adriaenssen b. 1587, Antwerp, d. 1661, Antwerp.

Alchemy School
Frontispiece woodcut from Zadith ben Hamuel De Chemia Senioris, 1566. See

September 2013
Glass Monks
Window detail of Santa Maria del Fiore, Florence. Photo by Georges Jansoone, courtesy  of Wikimedia Commons.

Chalcedony Glass
Ribbed vessel, chalcedony glass, seventeenth century, 20 cm.
Collection of the  Museo del Monastero di Santa Giulia, Brescia
Courtesy of Fondazione Marilena Ferrari.

Don Giovanni
Don Giovanni de’ Medici, courtesy of Wikimedia Commons:

Days that Never Were
Unknown Attribution, please contact with information.

The Neighbors
"Portrait of Giovanni Bologna" by Hendrick Goltzius,  Teylers Museum, courtesy of  Wikimedia Commons.

Weights and Measures
"The Proclamation regarding Weights and Measures A.D. 1556" by Ford Madox Brown, a mural at Manchester Town Hall. Courtesy of Wikimedia commons.

Artificial Gems
17th century girandole pendant. Courtesdy of The New York Public Library Digital Gallery.

True Colors
Photo: Mehmet Goren, Pica Marina. Courtesy of Mehmet Goren.

Pica marina, Ulisse Aldrovandi, "Le tavole acquerellate di Ulisse Aldrovandi Tavole vol. 002 Animali ..." Manoscritto, Parnassus Scientiarum, Catalogue of the Waller Collection of History of Science and Medicine, Edited by Marco Beretta and Andrea Scotti Interface editor Daniele Nuzzo, Courtesy  of the University of Bologna.

Mother Dianora
Agnolo di Cosimo 'Bronzino,' "Portrait of Florentine Noblewoman" circa. 1540 Florence, (thought to be a cousin of Eleanor Toledo) Courtesy of  the San Diego Museum of Art.

Sonnet to a Barber
Bust portrait of Luigi [Lodovico?] Domenechi facing right set within an elaborate cartouche Engraving. Italian, 'Medaglia del [Antonio Francesco]Doni' print made by: Enea Vico, 1550-1564.  Courtesy of  the British Museum, inventory #1867,1012.650.

Dear Friends
The library of the University of Leiden (1610), where Christoph Plantin worked from 1583 to 1585. Picture courtesy of Frédéric Barbier (28 Avril 2012). University Library Leiden in 1610 from Woudanus in ''Stedeboeck der Nederlanden'', Amsterdam: Willem Blaeu, 1649.

Flexible Glass
Tiberius, Third Roman Emperor (42 BCE - 37 CE). Tomasso Moneta (?) after Antonio Tempesta (?), 1596, Lazio, Rome.

Della Casa’s Notebooks
Spine of Agnolo della Casa, BNCF MS. Palatino 867 [756 - 21, 2.] Serie Targioni, II, v. 3. Courtesy of Biblioteca Nazionale Centrale di Firenze.

August 2013
We Were Trojans
Giovanni Domenico Tiepolo or 'Giandomenico Tiepolo' (1727-1804), "Procession of the Trojan Horse in Troy", Wikimedia foundation, (,_Procession_of_the_Trojan_Horse_in_Troy._1773..jpg)

The Neri Chapel
Outer door of the Neri Chapel, S. M. Maddalena dei Pazzi, Borgo Pinti, Florence. Photo by Paul Engle, 2011.

From Beads to Belief
Flameworking a glass bead on a wire mandrel. Glass artist: Lori Engle, photo by Paul Engle, 2005.

Antonio Neri, "Libro intitulato Il tesoro del mondo di Pietre Antonio Neri" (MS Ferguson 67, GB 0247, Glasgow University Library, Special Collections, 1598-1600), f. 14r.

Gold-Ruby Glass
Cranberry glass or Gold Ruby from the treasury chamber of the Wittelsbacher located in the Munich Residenz. 2010, Wikimedia foundation.(

Michael Maier, "Atalanta fugiens, hoc est, Emblemata Nova de Secretis Naturae Chymica..." (Oppenheim: Johann Theodori de Bry, 1617), emblem 29.

Giovanni Stradano, alias Jan van der Straet (1523-1605), "Alchemy Studio" (1570). Palazzo Vecchio (Studiolo), Florence.

Ceiling panel of entrance vestibule, 27 Borgo Pinti, Florence. Neri family coat of arms. Photo by Paul Engle, 2011.

Casino di San Marco
Courtesy of ARCHIDIS - Fondo disegni tecnici del Comune di Firenze. Direction de Toscana place de Florence. Coupe du casin de S. Marc, prise sur la ligne. Cart. 5 tavola 1. sul retro: classe 1° Casino di S. Marco. n. 3 piante del casino della Livia - cav. Mazzei. Amfce 0533 (cass. 16 ins. A2). (

Dallas Lore Sharp "A Watcher in The Woods" (New York: The Century Co., 1903), p. 77. Illustrator: Bruce Horsfall "The barn-swallows fetch the summer."

Laughing In the Fern
Blätter des Manns Walfarn. by Alois Auer, Vienna: Imperial Printing Office, 1853
Courtesy of the Wikimedia foundation: Nature print, (,_Alois_Auer_.jpg).

Waxing Moon
Allain Manesson Mallet "Description de L'Univers" (Frankfurt: 1719)
Illustration: "Der Mont. – Lune"

Great Princes
Antonio Neri, "L'Arte Vetraria…" (Firenze: Giunti, 1612), p. i.

Eyes of a Lynx
Seal of the Accademia dei Lincei, 1611. Archiv der Accademia dei Lincei.
Courtesy of

May 2013
Alchemist, Glassmaker, Priest
Antonio Neri, "Libro intitulato Il tesoro del mondo di Pietre Antonio Neri" (MS Ferguson 67, GB 0247, Glasgow University Library, Special Collections, 1598-1600) f. 6v.