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Agate goblet crowned by a bust
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Agate goblet crowned by a bust

1590 - 1630. Agate, Enamel, Gold. Room 079B

Vessel comprising pieces of agate with different patterns of veining, some possibly ancient, linked by adornments in different designs, in enamelled gold. The body is semi-spherical and is joined to the lid through an adornment consisting of two decorated bands, the first with small motifs, enamelled in white and green, and the second with ovolos in translucent red enamelling, imitating ruby cabochons, between white scrolled designs and small blue flowers, all framed by an edging of white leaflets enamelled with black. A similar adornment supports the bust of a figure wearing an enamelled necklace and a translucent blue garment overlaid with white leaves and with two mascarons on the shoulders. The stem, held by an adornment of false cabochons, is darker in tone, and is joined to a bell-shaped base, lacking the bottom trim, with two lesser adornments and a short agate neck.

The Schatzkammer der Residenz in Munich boasts a chalcedony goblet with winged handles, in enamelled gold, crowned by a bust with armour of enamelled gold and a lion skin, inv. 377. The head, as in the Prado goblet, is of agate, and the contrasting colour of the banding serves to highlight the headdress. The use of a range of different materials to lend volume and colouring to a stone carved in the round or a cameo, preferably with anthropomorphic motifs, is particularly characteristic of Ottavio Miseroni, to whom a large number of works of this kind, featuring different coloured stones, have been attributed.

The adornment, using of translucent red enamelling to imitate ruby cabochons and blue flowerets, displays variations -as Arbeteta points out- on the habitual designs derived from the cosses de pois or pea pod style and lobed leaves, with their centres somewhat raised, decorated with small drawings in black enamel as in the designs of Gédeón and Gilles Légaré. However, the leaflets on the borders link the goblet to others in the Prado, such as O10, O11 and to goblets attributed, as far as the adornments are concerned, to the Paris school. The reddish veining gives the body an appearance for which this vessel was greatly prized.

The state of the work in the 19th century can be seen through the photography of Juan Laurent Minier, "Vase agate calcédoine, montures d’or et émail, XVIe siècle, règne de Henri II", ca. 1879, Museo del Prado, HF0835/23 (L. Arbeteta, in press).

Technical data

Inventory number
Agate goblet crowned by a bust
1590 - 1630 (Vessel); 1600 - 1650 (Adornment)
Enamelled; Carved
Agate; Enamel; Gold
Height: 17.7 cm.; Diameter: 7.5 cm.; Weight: 178 g.; Diameter of the base: 4.1 cm.
Tesoro del Delfín
Royal Collection

Bibliography +

Angulo Íñiguez, Diego, Catálogo de las Alhajas del Delfín, Museo del Prado, Madrid, 1989 (ed.rev), pp. 32.

La fiesta en la Europa de Carlos V, Sociedad Estatal para la Commemor, Madrid, 2000, pp. nº87.

Arbeteta Mira, Letizia, El tesoro del Delfín: alhajas de Felipe V recibidas por herencia de su padre Luis, Gran Delfín de Francia, Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid, 2001, pp. 354-355.

Arbeteta, L. Azcue, L., El Tesoro del Delfín, Museo Nacional del Prado, 2018, 2018.

Other inventories +

Agates, cristaux, procelaines, bronzes, et autres curiositez qui sont dans le Cabinet de Monseigneur le Dauphin a Versailles. Núm. 45.
Une Coupe ronde d’Agate-Onix couverte sur son pied à balustre de mesine qualité: Au baut du couver y a une teste de Morc avec un turban blanc, armée de mascarons e autres ornemens d’or emaillé, e autor col un collier d’email façon de perles; le tout garni tan pied qu’au reste du corps de sept cerdes d’or émaillez grands que petits. Haute de six pouces e demi e [] metre au corps deux puces e demi

Inv. Felipe V, La Granja, 1746. Núm. 134.
134. Una Copa redonda con su pie, y Tapa, y por remate una Caveza de Negra, todo de piedra Agata con siete guarniciones , y el medio Cuerpo de la Negra, todo de color de oro Esmaltado. Tiene once dedos de alto, y Caja de Tafilete encarnado

Inv. Gabinete Historia Natural, 1776. Núm. 54.
Otro vaso en forma de copon, con su tapa, remate, caveza, vasa y pie de piedra Agata, guarnecidas dhas piezas con oro esmaltado de azul , blanco , verde y negro unas hojas , y flores de rojo: unos obalos en el remate: dos mascarones de hombres de dha caveza; regulado en dos onzas de oro poco mas 6 menos, que junto con la piedra y caja de dho vaso vale 6.574 .. . 32.

Inv. Real Museo, 1857. Núm. 54.
Alhajas y efectos preciosos que se hallaban colocados en el Gabinete de Historia natural y trasladados al Real Museo de Pintura y Escultura de S. M., en virtud de Rl. orden de 11 de Mayo de 1839 [...] 54. Otro vaso en forma de copon, con su tapa, remate, cabeza, base y pie de piedra Ágata, guarnecidas dichas piezas con oro esmaltado de azul, blanco, verde y negro, unas hojas de flores de rojo, unos óvalos en el remate, dos mascarones por hombros de dicha cabeza; regulado en dos onzas de oro poco mas o menos.

Exhibitions +

La fiesta en la Europa de Carlos V
19.09.2000 - 26.11.2000

Location +

Room 079B (On Display)

Update date: 09-07-2020 | Registry created on 26-11-2015

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