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Post Lot Text
THE BODENDICK TABLE-FOUNTAIN
A RARE GERMAN PARCEL-GILT TABLE-FOUNTAIN
MAKER'S MARK OF EVERT KETTWYCK, HAMBURG, CIRCA 1630, AND WITH HIS ASSAYMASTER'S MARK (1628-1643)
Cast with four dolphins supporting the plain spherical reservoir engraved with inscription, with four shell-shaped dishes above, the corinthian column stem flanked by four allegorical female figures of the Elements and partly enclosed by vine tendral with cold-painted green leaves, the spherical knop above capped by a seated nymph with pipe, marked on base and on shells
The inscription reads 'AMBT BODENDICK' which loosely translates as District of Bodendick.
Table fountains were often monumental structures and as such were a source of entertainment and wonder to visitors. However their function, if they were to be used at all, was to be either for pouring wine or, perhaps more likely, to be filled with rosewater to rinse the hands.
Very few examples have survived, but the most dramatic is that dated 1648 now in the Rosenborg Castle in Copenhagen, made in part by Hans III Peters in Augsburg and by an unidentified maker believed to be from Hamburg. This was made to celebrate the coronation of King Frederick III in 1648, five years after his marriage to Sophia-Amelia Brunswick-Lüneburg. (See L. Seelig, Silber und Gold, Augsburger Goldschmiedekunst für die Höfe Europas, Munich, 1994, p. 267, no. 63).
A second example, also larger and dated 1649-1652, was made in Hamburg by Peter I Ohr, and was a gift from King Charles XI of Sweden in 1662 to the Emperor Alexis Michaelovich and is now in the Armoury Museum, the Kremlin, Moscow (see B.Shifman and G. Watson, eds. Gifts to the Tsars 1500-1700, New York, 2001, p. 126, fig. 14).