Listen as glass artist William Gudenrath describes the techniques used to make this glass object. This Tazza is enameled with the coat of arms of the Medici family combined with crossed keys and a papal tiara, suggesting that they were made for a member of the church, most probably either Pope Leo X or Pope Clement VII.
The Medici were a dynasty of merchants and bankers, who swiftly rose to power in Florence and Tuscany during the 14th and 15th centuries. Giovanni de’ Medici became Pope Leo X (r. 1513–1521) when he was 38 years old. He is famous for his sumptuous lifestyle and his patronage of the arts. His cousin Giulio de’ Medici, who became Pope Clement VII (r. 1523–1534), had to face a more difficult pontificate, marked by religious and political tensions which culminated in the devastating sack of Rome in 1527.