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The 'Wilhelm' Pattern of Table Glass
The following lots of table glass are of a design first manufactured and marketed by the Rheinische Glasshütten-Actien-Gesellschaft glasshouse at Ehrenfeld in the Rhineland near Cologne in 1888, the same company that had supplied the glass table service for the Royal Wedding in 1881-83. Named in honour of the Emperor, it was not until 1891 that he first used examples of this pattern in person, at a banquet in Gürzenich, on a Royal progress through the Rhineland; see Der Letzte Kaiser, Wihelm II. Im Exil, Deutsches Historisches Museum Berlin, exhibition catalogue, 1991, p. 174, no. 24, the particular glasses in question being later engraved to commemorate the event.
Inspired by Venetian glass, which traditionally used spirals of air in the manufacture, it was one of the most complex designs yet developed by the glasshouse. There were many components to the service of this design, which would have included many different sizes of carafe, decanters, and other vessels. The drinking-glasses alone took as many as nineteen forms for the different styles of wine that could be consumed at table during the lavish banquets enjoyed by the European nobility of the period. For example, the glasses for German sparkling wine and French champagne were quite different; flutes as well as coupes were supplied. Although the standard 'Wilhelm' pattern was available for purchase from the factory to anyone who chose, the following lots bear the bearing the engraved Royal monogram signifying that these particular examples were for the use of the Emperor and his household.
Zwölf Deutsche Rheinweinrömer mit vergoldetem Monogramm