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Rock crystal drinking vessel with four lobes and handles with fantastical creatures
Workshop of the Sarachi (?)
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Rock crystal drinking vessel with four lobes and handles with fantastical creatures

1590 - 1610. Rock crystal / Hyaline quartz, Enamel, Gold Room 079B

Vessel made up of four pieces of rock crystal and five green and black enamelled gold mounts. At the base, the bowl has the form of a diminished arch. Four large gadroons form a cruciform and slightly oval mouth. By means of four mounts with a central band decorated with a motif of stripes and ovals, enamelled in black, two handles are supported at the height of the lip. They are in the form of fantastical creatures with the faces and breasts of women, C-shaped wings for arms, and volutes for feet. Another mount, with a spiral pattern on reserves embedded with black enamel and touches of green, joins the bowl to the flat foot decorated with floral sprays. It suffered general damage during the Peninsular War, when it also lost the mount on the foot. The decoration occupies the whole surface of the bowl and consists of spiralling foliage and birds taken from grotesques, their long necks intertwined, as well as festoons with hanging fruits and seeds.

The Milanese workshops manufactured large numbers of vessels with such similar characteristics that it can be hard to establish their provenance. The mount on the knop is similar to that on the drinking vessel, O85, and the galley, O114, in the Dauphin’s Treasure, probably the work of the Sarachi workshop, and the four mounts joining the handles to the bowl have the same enamelled motif as those on vessels O88 (another bernegal, or porringer) and the two-mouthed bottle, O94, at the Prado. Similar too are the mounts used to join the handles to the body on the wheeled boat, O115, and the large galley, O114, in the Dauphin’s Treasure. In this case, however, Arbeteta has pointed out that the ornamentation on the case also has features with parallels elsewhere. Its decoration consists of blind tooled linear adornments forming parallel vertical rows adorned with horizontal rows of gilt fleurettes. The tool used to stamp these fleurettes, with a small flower of five balustroid petals, was also used on the case (O3065) of the rock crystal galley at the Prado, O114. Since both vessels are Milanese, and given the similarity of this piece’s decoration to that of the galley, it is quite possible that both came from the same workshop (L. Arbeteta, in press).

Technical data

Inventory number
Workshop of the Sarachi (?)
Rock crystal drinking vessel with four lobes and handles with fantastical creatures
1590 - 1610
Enamelled; Carved; Engraved; Esmerilado
Rock crystal / Hyaline quartz; Enamel; Gold
Height: 14.8 cm.; Width: 24.5 cm.; Base/bottom: 19.4 cm.; Weight: 583 g.; Diameter of the base: 7.4 cm.
Tesoro del Delfín
Royal Collection

Bibliography +

Angulo Íñiguez, Diego, Catálogo de las Alhajas del Delfín, Museo del Prado, Madrid, 1989 (ed.rev), pp. 148.

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. 187,188.

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

Other inventories +

Inv. Gabinete Historia Natural, 1776. Núm. 130.
Vaso estriado, con su pie, y asas de cristal de roca...

There are no temporary exhibitions related to this work

Location +

Room 079B (On Display)

Update date: 04-01-2020 | Registry created on 02-12-2015

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