Quiz: Remember the definition of mal de mer?
glass with no utilitarian purpose, executed to satisfy the whim of the glassmaker. Such offhand exercises in skill are almost as old as glassmaking itself. Some of the earliest pieces blown for fun are boots and hats made in Germany as early as the 15th century. Boots and shoes reached a high point of popularity in the 19th century, when they were made of every conceivable style of glass, blown or molded. Whimseys came to satisfy an increasing craving for souvenirs, especially of the numerous international trade exhibitions of the 19th century, and to be used eventually for advertising.