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A German silver plaquette
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A German silver plaquette

MARK OF ALBRECHT BILLER, AUGSBURG, 1680-1685

Details
A German silver plaquette
MARK OF ALBRECHT BILLER, AUGSBURG, 1680-1685
Oval, chased and embossed with a banquet of the Gods seated on clouds and served by Nymphs bringing food and wine depicting:- Volcano; Minerva; Bacchus; Juno; Zeus; Ceres; Mercury; Hercules and Venus, two cupids above trowing flowers from a basket within stylised openwork foliate band, marked on rim
14¾ in. (37.3 cm.) high; 23 in. (58.5 cm.) wide
43 oz. (1252 gr.)
Provenance
The Thurn und Taxis collection.
The contemporary Thurn und Taxis inventory label records that this plaquette was acquired on the Munich art market in 1884.
Special Notice

No VAT will be charged on the hammer price, but VAT at 21% will be added to the buyer''s premium which is invoiced on a VAT inclusive basis.

Lot Essay

The present lot is embossed and chased to depict a banquet of the gods with Vulcan, Minerva, Bacchus, Juno, Zeus, Ceres, Mercury, possibly Hestia, Hercules and Venus seated at a table in the Heavens.
The pierced holes around the rim and the iconography of a table suggest that this plaquette may have been the central part of such a piece of furniture.
Silver, ebony furniture-like cabinets and mirror frames were a specialty in Augsburg in the 17th century, especially the workshop of Matthias Wallbaum. The production was continued in the late 17th and early 18th century including chairs, candlestands, fire-dogs, fire-screens, tables and even beds.
The Biller family were significant in this field: Albrecht's nephews Johannes and Ludwig II made two tables and four gueridons for the suite of furniture ordered by Duke Anton Ulrich von Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel. One of the fire-screens made by Albrecht Biller for Schloss Moritzburg near Dresden was depicting the scene of Volcano in front of his furnace. The central part of one of his tables can be admired in the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam.
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