Deconstructing glass and building up shards at the early Royal Society

Ruth Ezra*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In 1662, the physician Christopher Merret presented his fellow members of the Royal Society with an English translation of Antonio Neri's “L'arte vetraria” (The art of glass, 1612). Central to the preparation and receipt of this book was a cache of objects relevant to glassmaking, now lost or dispersed. These materia vitraria served as a tangible appendix to Merret's written commentary. They also reified the society's interest in the development of domestic industry by offering a direct means by which fellows could appreciate the raw materials of contemporary glassmaking alongside evidence of the trade's longer history in the British Isles.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)88-135
Number of pages48
JournalRenaissance Quarterly
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 22 Mar 2022


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