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    Sale 7608

    Important European Furniture and Sculpture

    10 July 2008, London, King Street

  • Lot 46

    A SILVER-GILT, GOLD AND ENAMEL-MOUNTED AGATE CUP

    GERMAN, 17TH CENTURY

    Price Realised  

    Estimate

    A SILVER-GILT, GOLD AND ENAMEL-MOUNTED AGATE CUP
    GERMAN, 17TH CENTURY
    The agate cup above a baluster stem with enamelled gold mounts in the form of acanthus, stiff leaf and repeating decoration all in pale blue, green and white enamel; on a spreading foot with a later pierced silver-gilt mount engraved to the underside '333'; with a paper label to the underside inscribed in ink '131'; minor losses to the enamel, repairs
    5½ in. (14 cm.) high


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    The carving and mounting of hardstones has long been regarded as one of the most difficult, and highly prized, expressions of artistry. This was especially the case in the late 16th and 17th centuries when members of the royal houses of Austria and Germany feverishly collected, and commissioned, artists to produce virtuoso works of art in exotic materials for their kunstkammer collections. The purpose of these collections was to enhance the fürstliche Reputation und Zier (princely reputation and decoration) as well as the intellectual understanding of the natural world. Through the carving, mounting and subsequent observation of wondrous natural elements such as rock crystal, coral and agate, these collectors felt as if nature, and indeed the universe itself, could be categorised and shaped by mankind.

    Special Notice

    VAT rate of 5% is payable on hammer price and at 15% on the buyer's premium


    Provenance

    Lucien Cottreau; Paris, Galerie Georges Petit, Collection Cottreau, Catalogue des Objets d'Art et de la Haute Curiosité de l'Antiquité, du Moyen-Age, de la Renaissance des XVIIe et XVIIIe siècles, Faiences Italiennes, Emaux Champlevés et Peints de Limoges, Ivoires - Bronzes, Objets de Vitrine, 28-29 April, 1910.


    Pre-Lot Text

    THE PROPERTY OF THE LATE GUSTAAF HAMBURGER
    (LOTS 46-55)