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A DUTCH SILVER WINDMILL CUP
A DUTCH SILVER WINDMILL CUP

DORDRECHT, 1639, UNIDENTIFIED INDISTINCT MAKER'S MARK

Details
A DUTCH SILVER WINDMILL CUP
DORDRECHT, 1639, UNIDENTIFIED INDISTINCT MAKER'S MARK
The bowl engraved with foliage strapwork and four applied grotesque masks with drop rings, the stem cast as a windmill, marked near rim
9 in. (23 cm.) high
6 oz. 17 dwt. (214 gr.)
Provenance
Anonymous sale; Christie's, Amsterdam, 4 March 2003, lot 324.

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Harriet Bingham
Harriet Bingham

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Lot Essay

A windmill cup of 1640 by the same maker is illustrated in the exhibition catalogue, B. Ter Molen-den Outer, Dordrechts Goud en Zilver, Dordrecht, 11 April 15-June 1975, no. 26.

The Windmill Cup The windmill cup was the most popular of the silver wager cups produced from the late 16th Century until the early 18th Century. The foot of the cup is in the form of a windmill and is designed so that it cannot be put down until its contents are emptied. The bowl of the cup is usually divided into horizontal bands and decorated with engraved strap-work and flowers, sometimes including drinking-songs, names or monograms. Taking turns, the first drinker blows into the pipe, sending the sails of the windmill in motion. The aim is to empty the cup before the sails of the windmill stop moving. The hands of the clock are the next part of the game. The drinker then spins the hand of the clock and where it lands indicates a figure from one to twelve. Some authors suggest that this designates the amount to drink if the cup is not drained in time. Others propose the unfortunate drinker must offer fellow drinkers as many drinks as the hand indicates (Schadee, N.,"Historisch Museum der Stad Rotterdam, Molenbeker Rotterdam", in:
Vereniging Rembrandt, Nationaal Fonds Kunstbehoud 1, 1991, pp.18-19) or that the hand indicates the next victim (Exhibition Catalogue, Nederlands Zilver/Dutch Silver 1580-1830, Amsterdam-Toledo-Boston, Rijksmuseum-The Toledo Museum of Art-Museum of Fine Arts, 1979-1980, pp. 4, 5, 372, 373).


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