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Cup in the form of a kneading trough
Roman Sculptor; Anonymous
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Roman Sculptor

Cup in the form of a kneading trough

I a.C. century. Enamel, Bloodstone, Gold, Serpentine. Room 079B

A high cup formed by an ancient fragment of serpentine and a foot and stem of heliotrope. The bowl, with a rectangular mouth, is joined by a ring mount and enamelled leaves to the balustroid stem, with a low knop between round brackets of enamelled gold. Oval in shape, it has a rounded profile and a rich openwork cluster of enamelled gold leaves. The enamels are opaque and consist of light touches of black and purple on a white ground. The mount belongs to the so-called “feuillages” type, of which there are plentiful examples both in the Dauphin’s Treasure at the Prado (O33, O35, O36, O37, O38, O39, O43, O44, O45, O46, O47 and O49) and in its sister collection at the Louvre (MR 187, OA 5379 and MR 466). Given the similarities between certain vessels and ornaments, it may be supposed that the same silversmiths worked for both Louis XIV and his son the Dauphin.

The vessel lost its handles, formed by two gold dolphins with coloured enamel, after the Peninsular War. It is impossible to make an adequate guess as to their appearance, since none of the old inventories describes them in detail, and we can do no more than imagine their volumes from the hollows they occupied in the case, which shows that they were positioned transversally, rose above the rim of the cup, and were inclined towards the interior.

The referents for this cup come from a fashion that reinterpreted classical models after designs like those of Pietro Cerini in Rome or Louis Rupert of Metz, who published a repertoire for various pieces of jewellery in Paris in 1668. The trend soon evolved towards more complex forms, such as the engravings of the monogrammist PC, active in Paris from 1672 to 1676, and especially the fantastic creatures of Hieronymus von Bömel. The Spanish jewellery of the turn of the century displays the almost exclusive influence of Cerini’s designs, applicable to chased metal, while the style of the other artists mentioned predominated in France, with a preference for enamelled surfaces.

The Museo del Prado has the photography by Juan Laurent y Minier Vase, prase avec pyrite de fer, montures d’or et émail, XVIIe siècle, règne de Henri IV, c. 1879. Museo del Prado, HF0835/14 (L. Arbeteta, in press).


Technical data

Related artworks

Case for cup in the form of a kneading trough
Leather, Wood, Metal, Cloth, 1690 - 1711
Inventory number
Roman Sculptor; Anonymous
Cup in the form of a kneading trough
I a.C. century (Body); XVII century (Adornments)
Sculpted; Enamelled
Enamel; Bloodstone; Gold; Serpentine
Height: 10.4 cm.; Width: 15.6 cm.; Base/bottom: 7.5 cm.; Weight: 295 g.; Ancho base: 7.8 cm.; Bottom of the base: 6.2 cm.
Tesoro del Delfín
Royal Collection

Bibliography +

Angulo Íñiguez, Diego, Catálogo de las Alhajas del Delfín, Museo del Prado, Madrid, 1989 (ed.rev), pp. 92.

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. 241-242.

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. 56.

Inv. Felipe V, La Granja, Tesoro del Delfín, 1746. Núm. 77.
Una Copa de hechura de Barco, con su pie todo de Piedra verdosa con vetas como de oro, quatro guarniciones, y por asas dos Delphines de color de oro Esmaltado, que inclusas las asas. Tiene siete dedos de alto, y Caja de Tafilete encarnado.

Inv. Gabinete Historia Natural, 1776. Núm. 29.
Otro vaso en forma de Artesa y pie de piedra al parecer blasma, con la vasa, y pie de piedra sanguina: tiene en sus engarzes de oro, dos asas qe. son dos Delfines esmaltados de colores: el engarze donde sienta el vaso, y tambien el pie, de hojas, calado y esmaltado de blanco, purpura, y negro, con pintas de encarnado en las benas de dhas ojas; regulado el oro en veinte y dos ochavas, que todo con la piedra y caja de dho vaso vale 6.790...2.

Inv. Real Museo, 1857. Núm. 29.
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 [...] 29. Otro vaso en forma de Arteza y pie de piedra al parecer blanca, con la base y pie de piedra sanguina; tiene en sus engarces de oro dos asas, que son dos Delfines esmaltados de colores; el engarce donde sienta el vaso, y tambien el pie de hojas calado y esmaltado de blanco, purpura y negro con piritas de encarnado en las venas de dhas hojas, regulado el oro en veinte y dos ochavos.

There are no temporary exhibitions related to this work

Location +

Room 079B (On Display)

Update date: 04-08-2020 | Registry created on 26-11-2015

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