No VAT will be charged on the hammer price, but VAT payable at 19.6% (5.5% for books) will be added to the buyer’s premium which is invoiced on a VAT inclusive basis
Post Lot Text
A PAIR OF GILT-COPPER-MOUNTED GLASS PILGRIM FLASKS
NORTH ITALIAN, PROBABLY VENETIAN, 17TH CENTURY
The lid of each surmounted by a finial of Cupid seated on a barrel, the gourd-shaped body with elaborate pierced gilt-copper sheath in the form of Bacchus surrounded by grape wines, each with two grotesque masks and heavy link chain, on an engraved spreading foot; minor wear to gilding, repairs
The form of the 'pilgrim flask' has its roots in the leather water flask carried by the pilgrim or traveller of the Middle Ages. T. Schroder in The Gilbert Collection of Silver and Gold (Los Angeles, 1988, p. 455), traces the development of the form to French silver examples of the late 16th century; although described as 'flagons' they have the same pear-shaped form, elongated neck and oval section of later examples. A rare French Renaissance example, with dragon-shaped chain attachments, engraved with the arms of King Henri III, is preserved in the chapel of the Order of the Saint-Esprit, Paris (Carl Hernmarck, The Art of European Silversmith, 1430-1830, London, II, p. 97, pl. 292). Popular until the end of the 16th century, a revival of their manufacture took place in the 1660s. Contemporary prints, such as Martin Engelbrecht's representation of the great silver buffet in the Rittersaal at the Berlin Schloss, circa 1708, indicate that they were arranged on side buffets during formal banquets. When placed in wine cisterns, they also served to decant wine.