Home > History of Wine, Image > Diamond Engraved Dutch Roemer Glasses of the 17th Century

Diamond Engraved Dutch Roemer Glasses of the 17th Century

In my post The Dutch Wine Glasses of Pieter Claesz I analyzed the Roemer, Berkemeyer, and Venetian flutes painted by Pieter Claesz.  What these paintings do not illustrate is the sheer beauty of a diamond engraved Roemer glasses.  Diamond tip engraving flourished as an art form in the later 16th century thoughout Germany, Venice, and Austria. It was popular in the Netherlands during the 17th and 18th centuries. It was during this period that Anna Roemers Visscher (1584-1651) produced work that is considered some of the most exquisite.  I have selected a variety of glasses that illustrate poems, insects, flowers, portraits, a map, and coats of arms.  I encourage you to take your time by zooming into each image.  They are truly beautiful!

Note, I am not a Dutch wine glass scholar so I have simply reproduced the accompanying descriptions.

Roemer, Anna Roemers Visscher, 1619, Rijksmuseum

“Constantijn Huygens wrote an ode to Anna Roemers’s skill as an engraver titled: ‘To the diamond-tipped pen of Miss Anna Roemers’. Anna’s answer to Huygens was this römer, accompanied by a poem: Dry is my pen, Dull is my paper / Rusty are my senses, Spoiled is my lyre / Go blessed Poet, Go to the tops of Helicon, and fetch water, to drop / Onto my dry ink, So that I (as I am want to) / Can greet my friends with a normal pen.” Description from Rijksmuseum.

Roemer, Anna Roemers Visscher, 1621, Rijksmuseum

“Mysterious poem In addition to the illustrations Anna also inscribed an Italian text onto the glass: ‘Bella DORI gentil, Noi vaghi fiori, Da te prendiam gli honori’. It means, ‘Gentle, beautiful Doris, we, lovely flowers, derive from you the honour of our name.'” Description from Rijksmuseum.

Roemer, early 17th century, The Metropolitan Museum of Art

“The engraving was based on a famous map of the Rhine by the mathematician and cartographer Caspar Vopel, which was published in Cologne in i Sg. On the Roemert,h e river’s course from Mainz to Utrecht is shown, with its many tributaries and branches and the adjacent lands, cities, and physical features.” Description from the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Roemer, M. Tesselschade Roesmers Visscher, 2nd quarter 17th C., Rijksmuseum

“The Latin text “Sic Soleo AmicosSic Soleo Amicos.” The 17th-century poet Jacob Westerbaen adopted the motto `Sic Soleo Amicos’ from the Roman author Terence (Publius Terentius Afer), and used it in 1624 as the title of a satirical poem., means, roughly translated, ‘this is how I treat my friends’.” Description from Rijksmuseum.

Roemer, c. 1650, Victoria and Albert Museum

“Engraved with vines and dancing peasants and a bagpipe player, seated on a barrel.” Description from The Victoria and Albert Museum.

Roemer, c. 1650, The British Musem

“The inscription on this glass reads ‘Noch Leeft Orange’ (‘Still lives Orange’). The engraving almost certainly depicts William II, Prince of Orange (1626-50), who married Mary, Princess Royal of England.” Description from The British Museum.

Roemer, G.V. Nes, 1657, Victoria and Albert Museum

“Engraved with the Arms of William of Orange and the Seven Provinces of the Netherlands. Signed ‘G.V. Nes 1657’.” Description from the Victoria and Albert Museum.

Roemer, 1689, Private Collection of Wilfred Buckley

“Roemer (two views), engraved with arms of William III and Mary on the occasion of their coronation as King and Queen of England, 1689.” Description from Wilfred Buckley, “A Series of Dutch Historical Glasses”, 1929.

Roemer, Willem Mooleyser, 1689, Victoria and Albert Museum

“A roemer an even larger Roemer with the arms of William III; the Dutch Republic; The Dutch Admiralty; Holland; Schiedam and the Van der Goes family and monogramme. Signed ‘W. M.’, dated ‘4m. 19dach 1689’ (19th April 1689) and inscribed ‘T’Welvaren Vant Lieve Vaderlandt 1689’ and ‘Concordia Res Parvae crescunt’ (Unity makes the weak powerful)” Description from the Victoria and Albert Museum.

  1. James
    August 29, 2011 at 10:46 pm

    Beautiful collection! My wife and I are looking for replica Römers of this sort, if anyone has any leads…

    • George Way
      July 6, 2012 at 1:19 pm

      there are a few on e-bay at this moment some 17th century others 19th century and newer examples.
      Good Luck

  2. karla
    January 10, 2012 at 12:54 am

    We found some at the Six Collection in Amsterdam. The museum is private but is accessible if you call ahead. Mr. Six has a small side business of selling reproduction roomers. (Because none were available)

  3. joe
    April 30, 2014 at 7:10 pm

    they sell beautiful reproductions at the now-reopened rijksmuseum. Also worth noting, the Constantijn Huygens referred to in the first photograph is the father of Christiaan Huygens, the famous astronomer, mathematician, physicist and clockmaker

  4. Dianne Gregg
    September 23, 2014 at 3:37 pm

    Is there any information on exactly where in the 17th (or later) were roemers made in the Ne
    therlands (names of factories or towns). I know about the Dutch engravers.


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