The quantity and quality of glass made in Europe declined following the collapse of the Roman Empire. From the 13th to the 17th centuries, the glasshouses of central and northern Europe, produced tableware, storage containers, and windowpanes. Some of this glass, called Waldglas (forest glass) [bottle, 56.3.22], was green because of iron impurities in the sand from which it was made. Potash made from the ashes of trees or ferns was used in its manufacture.
Glass objects, usually drinking vessels of different shapes, were made in rural glasshouses. The most popular shapes were the Krautstrunk, the Stangenglas, and the Berkemeyer, various types of decorated beakers. Most of the glass displayed in this area of the gallery is sturdy and practical, with such simple decorations as trails and prunts [beaker, 2009.3.49].