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Post Lot Text
THE BADEN DISH
A MAGNIFICENT GERMAN SILVER-GILT AND ENAMEL DISH
MAKER'S MARK OF ABRAHAM I LOTTER, AUGSBURG, 1562-1586
Circular, the outer border with alternating panels of silver filigree rosettes decorated with beading on gilt and moresque background, applied with three medallions repeated twice of Samson and Delilah, Aristotle and Phyllis and Jezebel and King Ahab before Baal, the well acid-etched with moresques on matted ground, with inner moulded border secured by six lion's mask rivets, the central boss surrounded by further bands of filigree rosettes, etched moresques and set with enamelled coat-of-arms dated 1561, the reverse applied with six medallions cast with figures of the gods, Jupiter, Eros, Mars, Mercury, Diana and Venus, marked on reverse and with assay scrape
The arms are those of the Margrave Karl II of Baden-Durlach (1553-1577) and this dish appears to commemorate his conversion to the Augsburg confession, the founding text of Lutheranism as defined by Jacob Heerbrand. In 1561 the Margrave declared his conversion at the Protestant Congress in Naumburg. This dish was presumably made shortly afterwards but was used for the baptism of all his children. It is a particularly fine example of the very distinctive and striking decoration that Abraham I Lotter used on a number of occasions. There are at least four similarly decorated tankards recorded by him of which two are in the Armoury, the Kremlin Museum, Moscow (H. Seling, Die Kunst der Augsburger Goldschmiede 1529-1868, vol.2, Munich, 1980, fig. 133) and one in a private collection (Magie de l'orfèvrerie, vol.2, Brussels, 2004, p. 126-127). This filigree decoration was also used by other makers such as Ulrich Schönmacher (J.F. Hayward, Virtuoso Goldsmiths and the Triumph of Mannerism 1540-1620, New York, 1976, illustr. 494).
The strapwork is closely related to the designs of Virgil Solis (1514-1562) from Nuremberg. The three applied scenes can be attributed to the circle of Peter Flötner, Nuremberg, second third of the 16th century and appear to be after images from Jörg Pencz's Folge von Weiberlisten (Women's Wiles). The scenes on the reverse are taken from a series of lead plaquettes of which four (Saturn, Jupiter, the Sun and Mercury) survive. A double-cup by Hans Braband (1535-1569) from Nuremberg, in the British Museum (1927, no. 110) is applied with similar plaquettes emblematic of Saturn, Jupiter, Mercury, Mars, Venus and the Moon. (See I. Weber, Deutsche, Niederländische und Französische Renaissanceplaketten 1500-1650, Munich, 1975, p. 110, pl. 39 et p. 86 no. 66, pl. 1-4 et pl. 22).