Glass Discussion & Research. NO IDENTIFICATION REQUESTS here please. > Belgium and the Netherlands Glass

goblet incased in glass. ID = Belgian


Hi Can anyone help with this. It is beautifully made but no makers mark. I would guess it has some age to it. Pentagon in shape with cut edges about 3.5" tall with a hole in the top that would suggest a candle holder but I have my doubts as the lip is rounded.

Anne Tique:

It is not a goblet but an inkwell, missing its stopper. They are of Belgian manufacture, called "Bousillée [boozeeyay]", usually done while the glassblowers at VSL/Herbatte had a break, to keep the ovens hot and practice their skills. They never were part of the catalogue. I have more info on these pieces but need to look it up. If you google encrier bousillée, you'll get several examples.

Anne Tique:
Just a little bit about these Bousillées, translated from french.

Around the turn of the century, it was the established and professional glassblower at VSL who lived the best life of the workers in general, and was considered as aristocratie amongst them. This did come at a price as it took years of apprenticeship.

 Days lasted easily 12 hours and beginning at the age of 10, a lot died  at a very young age due to lung disease and physical suffering from the heavy work. At 10 years old, the children would sit all day in front of a mould, to help the glassblower by opening and closing it. At the age of 12, the child had achieved the status of 'Gamin' [gkammè] and was allowed to reheat the unfinished product.

At the age of 18 the apprentice  was allowed to gather and pass the cane on to the 'carreur', who would initially work on the glass in its hot and liquid form on a big marble worktop, before handing it over to the blower. The position of carreur was the last phase before becoming an apprentice glassblower, a privilege reserved only for the most gifted.

At the end of each month, and at times during breaks, the glassblowers realised the 'boussillées', that they sold themselves outside of the factory or were offered  at a special occasion, such as a wedding, christening etc. The company turned a blind eye, as these little pieces were occasions for glassblowers, cutters and engravers to exercise, master and accomplish the highest standards of the art and several of them are real works of art. Today these rarities are very collectable and sought after by collectors.

Voila, that's it, perhaps a bit more than needed, but it puts these pieces into context and they have a certain social history at VSL. They were done in hard times to earn a bit more money by sacrificing free time.

I have seen one before without a stopper, and a new stopper was made from the stem of a damaged wine glass...perhaps an idea to complete it.

Underneath two examples.

Thank you for the interesting information what a lovely story. I will treasure it. I do know a glass blower so I will see if I can get a stopper although it is just as nice without.


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