A superb German silver-gilt drinking cup formed as a model of a blackamoor
No VAT will be charged on the hammer price, but VA… Read more The Property of a member of the Rothschild family
A superb German silver-gilt drinking cup formed as a model of a blackamoor

UNMARKED, SECOND HALF OF THE 17TH CENTURY, PROBABLY DRESDEN OR AUGSBURG

Details
A superb German silver-gilt drinking cup formed as a model of a blackamoor
Unmarked, second half of the 17th Century, probably Dresden or Augsburg
The muscular figure in swaggering pose, wearing a billowing loin cloth, with cast and chased 'slave' bangles and collar, his right hand holding a detachable arrow, his left hand resting on his hip and clasping a bow behind his back, the finely modelled detachable head with earring and 'jewelled' embroidered turban, on later oval ebonised plinth
17½in. (44.5cm.) high
gross 76oz. (2,380gr.)
Provenance
By tradition from one of the Rothschild collections
M. Hubert de Givenchy; Christie's Monaco, 4 December 1993, lot 49
Special notice

No VAT will be charged on the hammer price, but VAT at 17.5% will be added to the buyer's premium which is invoiced on a VAT inclusive basis.

Lot Essay

This figure appears to be emblematic of Africa and presumably was originally one of a set of four representing the four Continents. Although no print source has, as yet, been identified for this very distinctive figure it seems most closely related to the work of late 16th-early 17th Century printmakers at the court of Rudolph II at Prague, such as Jan Müller.

Such prints were, of course, widely disseminated throughout Europe and an Augsburg or Dresden origin for this figure, given its exceptional quality, seems highly probable. Dresden, home of the Saxon court, is perhaps the more likely of the two cities for this sculpture to have been made in, as most Augsburg silver of this period is marked with town and maker's mark.
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