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Heliotrope nef
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Heliotrope nef

1575 - 1600. Enamel, Bloodstone, Gold Room 079B

The vessel comprises an oval base, stem and boat-shaped cup and four adornments in enamelled gold. Both the lid and the adornment that once decorated the base disappeared when the Treasure was looted by French troops in the Peninsula War in 1813. In the absence of the lid, which had the profile of a lowered arch and a sculpted crown, its original dimensions can only be surmised by reference to the hollow of the case.

It originally had a lid, also made of heliotrope, with black and white adornments of enamelled gold, crowned by the half-length figure of a woman, carved from agate, with clothing in enamelled gold and a feathered headdress, as described in the Granja de San Ildefonso inventory drawn up in 1734. The adornments on the lid and base included 32 Vich amethysts of various sizes, with their corresponding mounts. The use of small busts to form the crown of goblets was common; sometimes they were provided with clothing and hair in contrasting colours, as is evident from some of the pieces in the Dauphin’s Treasure and examples in the Museo degli Argenti, Florence.

The state of the work in the 19th century can be seen through the photography of Juan Laurent Minier, "Coupe ovale jaspe sanguin transparent, montures d’or et émail, XVIe siècle, règne de Charles IX", ca. 1879, Museo del Prado, HF0835/23 (L. Arbeteta, in press).

Technical data

Inventory number
Heliotrope nef
1575 - 1600 (Body); 1600 - 1625 (Adornments)
Chased; Enamelled; Carved
Enamel; Bloodstone; Gold
Height: 11.2 cm.; Width: 14.2 cm.; Base/bottom: 9 cm.; Weight: 202 g.; Ancho base: 6 cm.; Bottom of the base: 4.4 cm.
Tesoro del Delfín
Royal Collection

Bibliography +

Angulo Íñiguez, Diego, Catálogo de las Alhajas del Delfín, Museo del Prado, Madrid, 1989 (ed.rev), pp. 36.

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. 149.

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

Other inventories +

Inv. Felipe V, La Granja, Tesoro del Delfín, 1746. Núm. 25.

Inv. Gabinete Historia Natural, 1776. Núm. 79.
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Location +

Room 079B (On Display)

Update date: 07-03-2020 | Registry created on 26-11-2015

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