Dutch silver scholars Dr. Johan R. ter Molen and Dr. Louise E. van den Bergh-Hoogterp have suggested that the maker of this superb tazza was the historicist silversmith Th. H. Saakes, who worked in the Hague from 1892 to 1902. Saakes's work in the 17th-century auricular style was acclaimed at l'Exposition Universelle of Paris in 1900, and one critic described his masterful revival of Dutch-style embossed work as follows: repris le travail au repoussé, tel que le pratiquaient quelques artistes du XVII siècle, les 'Vianen, les Lutmas'; il y a acquis une virtuosité incontestable.
The Van Vianen family were the most famous of the Dutch 17th-century silversmiths, and their marks were reproduced by the 19th-century maker Paulus van der Beek (w. 1854-1880) and almost certainly by Saakes as well. (J. ter Molen, Van Vianen, vol. I, 1984, pp. 63-64.) An embossed sideboard dish by Paulus van Vianen of 1613 with a scene of Diana and Actaeon, in the collection of the Rijksmuseum, probably served as the model for the present tazza (illustrated in J.W. Frederiks, Dutch Silver, vol. I, 1952, fig. 96NN, pp. 158-159). Two circular plaquettes by the same maker with Diana and Actaeon in very similar compostions are also known (Frederiks, op. cit., figs. 89FF and 94LL).
Christie's is indebted to Dr. Johan R. ter Molen and Dr. Louise E. van den Bergh-Hoogterp for their assistance in cataloguing this lot.