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Post Lot Text
A CONTINENTAL SILVER-GILT CUP FORMED AS A GREYHOUND
PROBABLY GERMAN OR SWISS, 17TH CENTURY
On oval base formed as a riverbed cast and chased with crayfish, rock work and reeds, the greyhound bounding forward, the detachable head with collar (remains of a bracket in his jaws perhaps to support a jewel or a coat-of-arms), marked with a sword in a coat-of-arms and indistinct mark on base
The greyhound appears to have been first used for hunting by the Celts before this practice spread to the rest of Europe. During the Middle Ages the greyhound epitomised prestige for the aristocracy who retained exclusive use of this dog for hunting. It was consequently used as an iconographic symbol of power as well as fidelity. Indeed, the greyhound, due to his very exclusive faithful nature, would adorn female tombs as well as silver wedding gifts.