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Jasper tazza with stem in the form of a woman
Kobenhaupt, Hans
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Kobenhaupt, Hans

Stuttgart, 1609, 1623

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Jasper tazza with stem in the form of a woman

1609 - 1623. Enamel, Gold, Prasiolite Room 079B

A cup with a tall foot made up of two pieces of stone joined by an enamelled gold sculpture forming the stem. The bowl, with an oval mouth, thin sides and diminished arch profile, has carved ribs and concave planes. Kneeling on a gold podium is a nude woman enamelled in white, her arms raised and her hands crossed over her head. From her back there emerges a blue and white flower that supports the base of the bowl. The aesthetics are influenced by Parisian models, while also recalling the works of Hans Kobenhaupt in Stuttgart. Owing to the characteristics of the mounts, both extant and lost, the vessel and its case can be dated to the late 16th or early 17th century.

It can be seen in historic photographs that the foot of the piece had a broad mount of white and green openwork leaves, similar to that on piece O14 at the Museo del Prado. Alcouffe suggested it might have been an exclusive design for the vessels made for Louis XIV and his son. It also appears on ceramic pieces, such as candlestick MR 2405 at the Louvre, associated with the workshop of Bernard Palissy.

According to the inventory of the Dauphin’s vases drawn up in Versailles in 1689, the stone of the bowl was considered to be green and brown jade, while the foot was given as a different material, jasper of the same colour. The 1746 inventory of La Granja de San Ildefonso calls it simply "green stone", while that of the Real Gabinete de Historia Natural in 1776 takes the stone to be plasma. This receives corroboration, with praise for its quality, from the Governing Committee of the Museo de Ciencias Naturales in 1839. In fact, the body is jasper and the foot is prase.

It was common practice among European silversmiths in the second half of the 16th century to use white enamel for the flesh of human figures fashioned in gold, though here a single figure is given full protagonism. There are also figures with white enamel representing Neptune and Amphitrite on the edge of the green jasper cup MR 173 at the Louvre, with a mount of serrated and pointed leaves, as well as four half-woman, half-animal figures of enamelled gold. It is the work of Hans Kobenhaupt, active in the first third of the 17th century, an artist with minute attention to detail who frequently adorns his creations with mythological figures, and who was apt to create larger figures like this one, inspired by images of Venus. The knop of jasper cup E118 at the Louvre displays petals similar to those emerging behind the Prado figure.

The state of the work in the 19th century can be seen through the photography of Juan Laurent y Minier, "Tasse en platine, pied sculpté, montures d’or et émail, XVIe siècle, règne de François 1er", c. 1879, Museo del Prado, HF0835/31 (L. Arbeteta, in press).

Technical data

Inventory number
Kobenhaupt, Hans
Jasper tazza with stem in the form of a woman
1609 - 1623
Chased; Enamelled; Carved
Enamel; Gold; Prasiolite
Height: 15 cm.; Width: 20.5 cm.; Base/bottom: 13.5 cm.; Weight: 280 g.; Ancho base: 8 cm.; Bottom of the base: 6 cm.
Tesoro del Delfín
Royal Collection

Bibliography +

Angulo Íñiguez, Diego, Catálogo de las Alhajas del Delfín, Museo del Prado, Madrid, 1989 (ed.rev), pp. 37-38.

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. 337-338.

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

Other inventories +

Inv. Gabinete Historia Natural, 1776. Núm. 16V.
Vaso aobado hechura de taza con su pie

There are no temporary exhibitions related to this work

Location +

Room 079B (On Display)

Update date: 18-01-2020 | Registry created on 26-11-2015

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