CLAESZ., Leendert
(active 1580-after 1609 in Amsterdam)

Glass-holder

1609
Silver-gilt, height 24,8 cm
Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam

A glass-holder was a status symbol owned only by the highest circles of society in northern Netherlands. Glass-holders existed as early as the 15th century and had one purpose only to give a simple berkemeyer (a glass with a thick, hollow stem and a wide, conical bowl) the status of an ostentatious goblet. Glass-holders were made until the mid-17th century, after which they dropped out of fashion, which resulted in most of them being melted down.

This glass-holder, made by the Amsterdam goldsmith Leendert Claesz has survived because it was part of the Amsterdam municipal silver. The names of the treasurers who bestowed the commission are engraved on the bottom of the base.