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A German silver-mounted leather shoe-maker's guild cup
A German silver-mounted leather shoe-maker's guild cup


A German silver-mounted leather shoe-maker's guild cup
Probably Germany, late 16th Century, apparently unmarked
Formed as a leather shoe with thick sole, on two ball feet, the pointed upcurved curled toe similarly mounted with bells, the cup border with bands
22cm. (8in.) long

Lot Essay

A number of somewhat similar silver-gilt mounted leather cups survive and were presumably presented to shoemaker's guilds of various German cities. "The occasions that might lead to such a cup being acquired by the guild were various; it might be presented by a warden of the guild on completion of year of office, by a journeyman on admission as master of his craft, or, perhaps, in lieu of a fine, by a guild member who had committed some minor offence against the guild regulation." (see Timothy B. Schroder, The Francis E. Fowler, Jr. Collection of Silver, Los Angeles , 1991, p. 79).

In addition to two unmarked early 16th Century examples, one of which is engraved with the arms of Memmingen (Swabia), in the
Fowler collection (see Schroder, op cit, cat. nos. 91 and 92), antoher is recorded as being in the Nehresheimer Collection (Albert Schrder, Alte Goldschiedearbeiten, Munich, 1929, pl. 23). A further shoe cup with a similar mount but with dolphin shoe toe and with cover, by Melchior Mager, Nuremberg, circa 1580, was in the Joseph Brummer Collection (Parke Bernet, New York, 21 April 1949, lot 296) and subsequently in the Kramarsky Collection (Christie's New York, 30 October 1991, lot 68). A fifth example of very similar form to the latter is in the Morgan Collection, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, (A.E. Jones, Illustrated Catalogue of the Collection of Old Plate of J. Pierpont Morgan, London, 1908, pl. LXX). A sixth shoe-maker's guild cup with copper mounts was sold by Friedrich Baron von Stumm at Christie's Geneva, 19 May 1997, lot 185. And a seventh shoe was sold by Thierry Baron van Zuylen van Nijevelt at the Haar sale, Christie's Amsterdam, on 13 October 1998, lot 100.

See illustration

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