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Rock crystal cup with carved masks
Mayer, Johann Daniel
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Mayer, Johann Daniel

Augsburgo, 1662, 1675

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Rock crystal cup with carved masks

1662 - 1675. Rock crystal / Hyaline quartz, Enamel, Gold, Silver gilt Room 079B

A vessel consisting of three pieces of rock crystal and three mounts. The hemispherical bowl has an oval mouth and eight gadroons, the two frontal ones being the broadest, with a decoration of rounded leaves carved into arrises, and two large smiling masks, one in each of the broad gadroons. The knop has double gadroons and the foot is an inverted reproduction of the structure of the body on a smaller scale. Two of the mounts consist of a double band of black and gold rope pattern framing a sky blue strip with naturalistically represented flowers and green and black painted enamel whorls, the same as the mount on the foot. Ottoman in inspiration, they are identical to those of other vessels in the Museo degli Argenti in Florence that are attributed to the Central European schools of Augsburg or Prague. The vessels that have these mounts are derived from the models of shell-shaped cups made by Gasparo Miseroni and his son Ottavio.

Notable for its large proportions, the decoration recalls the animist movement’s taste for large masks, and may represent the face of the “Baphomet” of alchemy. The leaves and the general appearance of the mask, as well as the knop, point us towards the circle of Johann Daniel Mayer (act. 1662-75).

Mounts of this type, consisting of polychrome series of painted flowers on sky blue enamel, are frequent in European collections, and are based on designs published by various ornamentists, such as those of Gilles L’Egaré in his Paris publication of 1663. Other major exponents were François Le Febvre with his Livre Nouveau de toutes sortes d´ourages d´Orfeueries (Paris, 1667), and especially Jacques Vauquer (1621-1686), who published his Liures de Fleurs Propre Pour Orfeures et Graueurs in Blois in those same years. Among the abundant existing examples, one worth mentioning is a similar mount on a tall cup with a shell-shaped bowl resting on a baluster, OA 6 at the Musée du Louvre, and another is a piece in the Danish collection at Rosenborg Castle, inv. 5-218.

Cups with a shell-shaped body were inspired by models from the second half of the 16th century, like those made by Gasparo Miseroni, but treated in a more schematic language as a historicist recreation. This rather decadent production comes in part from Prague and in part from Central European workshops, especially Augsburg, where a purveyor to Louis XIV called Dalencé acquired a series of vessels, among them two shell-shaped jade cups that could be the work of Johann Daniel Mayer. The first is MR 185 at the Musée du Louvre, and the second is A 47 at the Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle in Paris. There are related pieces, also tall cups, at the Museo degli Argenti in Florence, such as no. 19 in the Inventario del Bargello 1917, a jasper vessel that possibly comes from the same workshop as the one in the Prado, since the enamelling is practically the same, and so is the knop on the stem.

Original state: Juan Laurent y Minier, “Coupe ovoide, cristal de roche taillé et gravé, montures d’argent émaillé et peint, XVIIe siècle, règne de Henri IV”, c. 1879. Museo del Prado, HF0835/35 (L. Arbeteta, in press).

Technical data

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Case for rock crystal cup with carved masks
Leather, Wood, Metal, Silk, 1662 - 1675
Copa abarquillada con mascarones
Albumen on photographic paper, Ca. 1863
Inventory number
O000120
Author
Mayer, Johann Daniel
Title
Rock crystal cup with carved masks
Date
1662 - 1675
Technique
Enamelled; Carved
Medium
Rock crystal / Hyaline quartz; Enamel; Gold; Silver gilt
Dimension
Height: 29 cm.; Width: 27 cm.; Base/bottom: 18.5 cm.; Weight: 3113 g.; Ancho base: 17.4 cm.; Bottom of the base: 15.1 cm.
Series
Tesoro del Delfín
Provenance
Royal Collection

Bibliography +

Angulo Íñiguez, Diego, Catálogo de las Alhajas del Delfín, Museo del Prado, Madrid, 1989 (ed.rev), pp. 190-191.

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. 261,262.

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

Other inventories +

Inv. Gabinete Historia Natural, 1776. Núm. 134.
Copa grande aobada

There are no temporary exhibitions related to this work

Location +

Room 079B (On Display)

Update date: 05-06-2019 | Registry created on 02-12-2015

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