Product Review: Replica Medieval Glass/Tumbler from Arma Boh
Some time ago I wanted to buy a replica medieval drinking glass that I could use at work, so I spent some time looking at various options online. I eventually settled on Arma Bohemia, who make a wide variety of replica drinking glasses from the 13th through 17th centuries. I will be reviewing their glass S 36, which is a replica of a 13th/14th century drinking glass. You can see it here:

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Height: 11 cm (just shy of 4.5 inches)

Diameter: Base 5.7 cm (about 2.24 inches), Top 8.3 cm (about 3.3 inches)

The glass is greenish-yellow in colour, most likely meant to represent the green forest glass used in Northern Germany, the Low Countries, and in other parts of central Europe. The various prunts, the “knobs” on the glass, are of irregular sizes and form, giving the glass an authentic medieval character. Unlike the copy of S36 shown on Arma Bohemia’s webpage, the blue “circles” appear staggered in various locations around the glass, instead of together in vertical column. As before, these circles are of irregular shapes and sizes, reinforcing the hand-made look.

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From the Corning Museum of Glass. Beaker decorated with prunts, northern Italy, Switzerland, or southern Germany, 13th/14th century (87.3.33). Perhaps the inspiration for S 36?

The only drawback is that the bottom of the glass is signed “BON” in a fairly modern looking script. This does not bother me, since I use the glass at work; however, for re-enactors who want all of their gear to be as authentic as possible I can understand that the signature would be less than desirable. I do not know enough about glassware to say whether or not it could be removed manually. However, it might also be possible to specially order an “un-signed” glass from Arma Bohemia by contacting them in advance and making a special request.

The glass is quite sturdy; there have been a couple of times where it has slipped from a low height and fallen to the floor without showing any sign of hairline cracks or fractures. That’s not to say that the glass is nearly indestructible because it clearly is not, but it’s certainly less fragile than some glasses.

Overall, I am pleased with my Arma Bohemia drinking glass. It looks and feels authentically medieval, and is solid and well-made. At €24.00 at the time of this review, you’re getting a handsome glass that could be used for re-enactment, SCA gatherings, or for anyone who wants a fine medieval replica drinking glass.

Acknowledgements for the information and image from the "About Medieval Glass" page from the Corning Museum of Glass:

Last edited by Craig Peters on Sun 10 Jul, 2016 8:18 pm; edited 2 times in total
That's a refreshingly original review Craig. My only critique: they don't seem to have a model that will hold a pint-sized beverage?
Glass drinking vessels during the medieval period were generally smaller than pint size, glass seems to have been primarily reserved for wine drinking.. With ceramic (and later metal) being used for beer. The notion of the pint as a unit of measure for beer is actually medieval, and wine serving portions (keep in mind medieval wine was typically stronger than modern wine) were quite a bit smaller.

I wrote my dissertation at Oxford on wine drinking in the Anglo-Saxon period. :)
You could always sand off the letters on the bottom.

The best glass for beer I reckon would be S 03, which they give as being 14th or 15th century. It's 23 cm tall, and while I don't know the exact volume, it looks like it could hold close to a pint.

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Arma are a great supplier and have been producing glass since it was invented it seems. Certainly the current owner have a long heritage in the Bohemian blowing market and their range is huge. In the UK their items, roman onwards, are easy to get hold of, even more so at the many european markets.

Think Historic Enterprises stock them in the US? but might be wrong.

But they are lovely things and joy to use.

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