ENGRAVED SILVER CUP, \'POKAL\' GERMANY. 19TH CENTURY

Antiques - Miscellaneous / Silver Works
Reference: Z5957

German silver cup. XIX century
It is entirely made of silver, and decorated with relief motifs, round bulk, engravings and chisels. It is directly inspired by similar pieces made in sixteenth-century Germany, in full mannerism. This is due to the importance that Germanic silverware had in that century; German and Central European architects in general will create for the collector cabinets delicious pieces designed to be displayed and not used, the greatest example of virtuosity and ornamental wealth of mannerist silverware. One of the most recognizable typologies of German mannerist silverware will be this type of tall glass, with a cylindrical container with a differentiated sub-cup and a large lid. They are functional or ornamental glasses, depending on the richness and abundance of their decoration. This decorative profusion, combining all kinds of motifs, is key in mannerist silverware, and went so far as to replace parts of the structure with decorative motifs, as we see here in the shaft, made up of a vase, and the knob, with the round bulged figure of a young classical warrior.
The main reason for this design are the embossed gallons, which take the form of oval recesses and are separated by ramrods with parallel transverse lines. We see them in the sub-cup, the mouthpiece and the lid, although they also appear on the foot, although simplified, without pockets or rods. The piece stands on a circular foot with a flat and smooth base, with two lavishly decorated domed steps: gallons above and interlocking braces, with classic flowers and figureheads below, typical motifs of the Mannerist ornamental background. The shaft, as we have mentioned, takes the form of a balustraded vase adorned with large rib-like braces, topped by bird heads. The container has a cylindrical shape, with a large relief cup, adorned with hermes in relief, again a typical motif of Mannerist silverware. The upper part, under the mouth, also goes outwards, although its decoration of gallons is simple enough not to overshadow the delicate and meticulous engraving and embossing of the central area. In it we see two oval cartels that house the representations of two gods from classical mythology: Bacchus, serving wine in a glass against a background of landscape with houses, and Mercury, running in a wooded landscape. Between both gussets are classic masks of great ornamental richness. Finally, the lid is domed, with a curled perimeter and a stepped structure. The pommel is sculptural and represents a young classical warrior, perhaps the god Mars.
Weight: 1742 gr. (It has a counterweight at the base)"


· Size: 10x10x33 cms.

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