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Rock crystal vessel with spout and trefoiled handle
Anonymous
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Rock crystal vessel with spout and trefoiled handle

Ca. 1550. Rock crystal / Hyaline quartz, Enamel, Gold

A vessel made up of six pieces of rock crystal and six gold mounts enamelled in opaque white and translucent red. The ovate body is decorated with helicoidal gadroons and darts on the base, and the same motif, smaller and turning in the opposite direction, alongside the neck. From the belly there emerges a structure with a spout surrounded by a mount. The short broad neck is enbellished by a mount with a double row of pointed leaves and beads around the edge. It has a cover with two small engraved vases, on which there is a small round lid enamelled in gold with a knob for opening it. Three pieces of rock crystal, one in a horseshoe arch and the other two S-shaped, are joined by mounts to the cover, forming a trefoiled arch acting as a triple handle. The body continues in a short ringed foot with a round base. The historic photographs show that its richest mount was on the foot, with a decoration of denticles, ova and pointed openwork leaves in the centre, along with beads or seeds. It vanished in 1918.

Alcouffe thought this vessel came from the same workshop as others in the Dauphin’s Treasure, such as the Rock crystal ewer with Narcissus and Echo (O77), the Oval rock crystal vase with gadrooned decoration (O89), and the three small ewers with boys and serpents (O74, O75 and O76), as well as other similar pieces in the Louvre, like MR 318, and also the rock crystal stoup and small jugs at Siena Cathedral, a gift of Pope Alexander VII, now preserved at the Museo dell’Opera del Duomo. All these pieces are decorated with the motif of twisted or helicoidal gadroons. Since most of the mounts on them are French, Alcouffe speculated that the vessels might have been made in France. As Arbeteta pointed out, the twisted gadroon motif must have been very common in the final phase of Gothic, and not only in France. Although many of the vessels of this type are related with French collections, they could have been supplied by foreign merchants. The crystal of all the pieces at the Museo del Prado except one comes from the Italian Alps, which provided the material of the Milanese cristallari. Vase O100 at the Prado has the same trefoiled handles as O82 of the Dauphin’s Treasure, while its cover, engraved in the typical style of Milan, seems rather later. Trefoiled handles inspired by silverware designs frequently appear on the ceramics of Saint-Porchaire, of which an interesting example dating from between 1550 and 1559 is preserved at the Cleveland Museum of Art, while another with a similar structure, dating from before 1565, is at the Petit Palais in Paris. It is probable that there is a piece of rock crystal missing from the Madrid vase, similar to the one on the spout of vase MR 299 at the Louvre, which comes from the French royal collection and has a mount of pointed leaves on the neck and lip. These mounts were very frequent on vessels of the first third of the 17th century, and their main centre of production seems to have been the Parisian workshops.

Original state: Juan Laurent y Minier, “Jarre, en cristal de roche taillé et gravé, montures d’or et émail, XVIe siècle, règne de Henri IV”, c. 1879. Museo del Prado, HF0835/45 (L. Arbeteta, in press).

Technical data

Inventory number
O000100
Author
Anonymous
Title
Rock crystal vessel with spout and trefoiled handle
Date
Ca. 1550; 1600 - 1650
Technique
Chased; Enamelled; Carved
Medium
Rock crystal / Hyaline quartz; Enamel; Gold
Dimension
Height: 20.8 cm.; Width: 15.6 cm.; Base/bottom: 10.1 cm.; Weight: 635 g.; Diameter of the base: 4.5 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. 162-163.

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. 291,292.

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

Other inventories +

Inv. Gabinete Historia Natural, 1776. Núm. 112.
Jarro, hechura de aguamanil

There are no temporary exhibitions related to this work

Location +

Room 079B (On Display)

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

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