A pattern of fine cracks resembling shattered ice and therefore called "ice-glass" forms this beaker's roughened, frosted surface. Lion's head masks and applied glass snail-shell forms alternate around the middle, decorating the vessel and possibly also making it easier to grasp. This "ice-glass" form was made by plunging the hot glass into cold water, causing a web of tiny cracks to appear. The effect of cracked ice could also be achieved by rolling the hot glass form over bits of broken glass which then stuck to the vessel, a technique used on an ice-glass situla in the Getty Museum's collection.
This sturdy goblet, with its wide mouth, thick foot, and simplified decoration was probably used for drinking beer and toasting. From the Middle Ages until the 1800s, beer was a popular drink with many Europeans, often taken at breakfast, lunch, and dinner.