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Post Lot Text
A GERMAN SILVER-GILT MOUNTED NAUTILUS CUP
FIRST HALF OF THE 17TH CENTURY, UNMARKED
On pedestal foot repoussé and chased with fruit and scrolls, the terrace with waves, shells and sea-monster, the vase-shaped stem applied with female masks and openwork scroll brackets, the shell with scroll and foliage side straps terminating in applied Zephyrs' masks, the end strap formed as a mermaid with tail extending to the top of the spiral, the scalloped border engraved with foliage, the shell pricked with scales and painted in gold, black and red with exotic birds, the cover with gadrooned border repoussé and chased in the centre with sea-monster and with finial cast as Neptune riding a dolphin, engraved on the pedestal and cover with initials GW beneath a crown and the initial M
From the second half of the 16th century, gilt-mounted nautilus cups became popular among the European royal and princely courts. This new taste could be satisfied by increased commercial exchanges with the East. This nautilus shell was probably carved in China or South East Asia before being painted in Europe.
Unlike the other Hanover cups (lots 197-203 and 205-210) in this sale, which remained in the Hanover family until the end of the last century, this nautilus cup was acquired separately having been in the distinguished collection of Mr. and Mrs. Robert Kahn Sriber. It was presumably part of the silver from the Hanover collection displayed in Palais Cumberland at Penzing in Vienna and sold in 1924.