The efforts of alchemists to imitate rare ma…

The efforts of alchemists to imitate rare materials in glass led to the development of gold ruby, a glass colored red by the interaction of light with very small particles of gold suspended within the glass. Gold ruby glasses were highly prized; when the stem and foot of this goblet were damaged, they were replaced with a turned wooden foot rather than throwing away the goblet. Explore the rare books that detail the alchemists’ original experiments in gold ruby glass for yourself in “Curious and Curiouser: Surprising Finds at the Rakow Library.” 

Gold-ruby Goblet, probably engraved by Gottfried Spiller, Potsdam, Brandenburg (Germany), about 1690-1700. Gift of The Ruth Bryan Strauss Memorial Foundation. 79.3.258.