The Luck of Edenhall
Glass beaker: Syria, 1250–1300
Leather case: probably England, 1450–1530
Museum no. C.1-1959
The shape and decoration of this enamelled glass beaker are typical of Mamluk glass production of the late 13th century. It probably found its way to England through trade, where its sophisticated materials made it a prized object. It has been perfectly preserved by the leather case that was made for it, probably after the mid 15th century. The lid of the case is moulded with Christ's monogram, IHS, probably as a protective talisman.
This beaker was a precious family heirloom for the Musgrave family of Cumbria. A legend grew up that it had been left to their ancestor by fairies who cursed him for disturbing their secret banquet, and that if it were damaged or broken, they would lose their family home of Eden Hall.