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Salver of lapis lazuli
Royel, Jean (?); Workshop of the Miseroni
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Royel, Jean (?)
Workshop of the Miseroni

Salver of lapis lazuli

Ca. 1600. Lapis lazuli, Silver gilt Room 079B

This presentation salver or soucoupe forms a pair with O61 of the Dauphin’s Treasure, both being made from a single piece of lapis lazuli. It has a round bowl with a flat bottom, low sides and a short turned stem resting on a small foot. A silver mount runs around the rim. Its profile, simple as it is, points to a work made in Milan, perhaps close to the Miseroni. It preserves the silversmith’s mark IR, possibly Jean Royel. In the inventory of the Grand Dauphin’s collection at Versailles, no mounting is described for it. This may have been added after the inventory was completed in 1689, but there are no marginal annotations to indicate this. Silver rings of this type, based on the designs of Jean Bérain the Elder (1640-1711), consist of an internal band of palmettes and an external one of gadroons separated by mouldings.

Despite its simplicity, this salver and its pair (O61) are noteworthy pieces, since their execution in a single block requires a piece of stone large enough to make two vessels at the same time, leaving them with a perfectly uniform appearance and design. It may be that the choice of the variant of lapis lazuli with abundant calcite veins, inferior in quality to the traditional intense blue with a high concentration of azurite, was made deliberately in a search for a novel aesthetic appearance. The vein used could have come from the region of Badakhshan in Afghanistan, where similar veins are still extracted today, or from Lake Baikal, an area where lapis lazuli is found with an abundant calcite content. Its gentle colouring in any case contributes to the rare beauty of the piece’s final appearance.

This salver and its pair, O61, bear the mark IR, attributed to the silversmith Jean Royel, on the back of the mount. It is accompanied by the marks of the fermier (assay master) Jacques Léger, active between October 1687 and December 1691 (L. Arbeteta, in press).

Technical data

Related artworks

Salver of lapis lazuli
Lapis lazuli, Silver gilt, Ca. 1600
Case for two salvers of lapis lazuli
Leather, Wood, Metal, Cloth, Ca. 1680
Inventory number
Royel, Jean (?); Workshop of the Miseroni
Salver of lapis lazuli
Ca. 1600; Ca. 1689
Chased; Carved
Lapis lazuli; Silver gilt
Height: 5.1 cm.; Diameter: 24.1 cm.; Weight: 833 g.; Diameter of the base: 6 cm.
Tesoro del Delfín
royal Collection

Bibliography +

Ciervo, Joaquín, El Tesoro del Delfín. Alta orfebrería venida a España en 1734, Anuari de les Arts Decoratives, XV, 1923, pp. 150, 172.

Verlet, Pierre, Les gemmes du Dauphin, Art de France. Revue annuelle de l'art ancien et moderne, 1963, pp. 153.

Angulo Íñiguez, Diego, Catálogo de las Alhajas del Delfín, Museo del Prado, Madrid, 1989 (ed.rev), pp. 105.

Arbeteta Mira, Leticia, 'Nuevas noticias sobre las 'Alhajas del Delfín' (I) Correspondencia entre los Inventarios de 1746, 1776 y catálogo de Angulo Iñiguez e identificación de un vaso desaparecido en 1815', Boletín del Museo del Prado., XII, 1991, pp. 22-23.

Cruz Valdovinos, Jose Manuel, Plateria Europea en España 1300-1700, Fundacion Hispano, Madrid, 1997, pp. 374-376, n. 129.

Arbeteta, Leticia, El Real Sitio de La Granja de San Ildefonso: retrato y escena del rey, Patrimonio Nacional; El Viso, Madrid, 2000, pp. 47.

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. 200-201, N. 56.

Arbeteta Mira, Letizia, 'Asia en las colecciones reales españolas'. En:, Oriente en Palacio. Tesoros Asiaticos en las Colecciones Reales Españolas, Patrimonio Nacional, Madrid, 2003, pp. 195.

Arbeteta, Leticia, Due sottocoppa. En: Lapislazzuli: magia del blu., Sillabe, Livorno, 2015, pp. 329.

Arbeteta, Leticia, 'Manifattura milanese; Parigi, Jean Royel (?).Due sottocoppa'. En:, Lapislazzuli: magia del blu., Sillabe, Livorno, 2015, pp. 329 n.54.

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

Other inventories +

Inv. Gabinete Historia Natural, 1776. Núm. 32.
Dos salbillas iguales de lapislazuli...

Exhibitions +

Lapislazuli. Magical Blue
09.06.2015 - 11.10.2015

Oriente en Palacio. Tesoros asiáticos en las colecciones reales
01.03.2003 - 30.06.2003

Intercambio por las Colecciones Reales Españolas de mosaicos y piedras duras
09.07.2001 - 16.09.2001

Platería europea en España
15.10.1997 - 15.12.1997

Location +

Room 079B (On Display)

Update date: 21-02-2020 | Registry created on 02-12-2015

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