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Post Lot Text
THE LUNEBURG CUP
AN EXCEPTIONALY LARGE GERMAN PARCEL-GILT CUP AND COVER
MAKER'S MARK OF NICOLAS SIEMENS, LUNEBURG, CIRCA 1645
On spreading lobed base chased with auricular motifs, applied with a cartouche cast with the arms of the town of Luneburg, the lobed vase-shaped stem with scroll brackets, the upper tier capped by busts between foliate calyxes with similarly chased bowl and cover with elaborate two-handled vase with cold-painted flowers finial, marked on base and border
It was customary in Northern Germany for immense cups to be presented on specific occasions such as accessions and coronations. Records exist of them being presented full of coins - a very practical and no doubt well-received way of demonstrating loyalty.
They also, of course, made the perfect ambassadorial gift. Queen Christina of Sweden sent the Emperor Alexis Mikhailovich four huge Nuremberg cups of which three remain in the Armoury Museum, the Kremlin , Moscow and one in the Swedish National Museum, Stockholm. These cups were possibly booty taken by Queen Christina's grandfather from Germany. They were probably those described by a French diplomat in 1634 as "four large gilded silver cups, four or five feet high, big enough to hold a small child: these are called 'loving cups' and can be drained ten or twelve times during the course of a drinking party" (B. Shifman and G.Walton, eds, Gifts to the Tsars, 1500-1700, New York, 2001, pp. 172-3).