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Small agate and cornelian cup
Anonymous
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Small agate and cornelian cup

XVII century. Agate, Alabaster, Cowry, Enamel, Gold

Goblet formed by seven pieces of stone, some possibly repurposed, joined by gold adornments, four of which are plain and the remainder enamelled in white with black details. The spherical body is adorned with uneven leaves, enamelled in white, with designs of pointed leaves painted in black and pea beads. The bell-shaped base, with an adornment of black and white leaves, sits on an alabaster disc. The goblet had a lid that was already damaged by 1689, and which lost its pineapple-shaped crown in 1815. At some point in time, the lid and goblet became separated, and during the 20th century the lid was listed as a separate piece, catalogued by Angulo as O52. Some years ago, when it was established that this piece was in fact the lid of the goblet, both works were reunited and catalogue item No. O52 was withdrawn.

The base of the body is decorated with a leaf design and sits on a tall stem, comprising two convex mouldings and a carnelian baluster, all separated by concave mouldings of smooth gold. The enamelled decoration of this goblet belongs to the final phase of the ornamental style known as cosses de pois or "pea pod", in its simplest form of expression. The rounded shapes of the slightly raised leaves, in the style of those associated with Gédeón Légaré (1615-1679), are decorated with dark comma-like motifs, similar to those used by his brother, Gilles Légaré (1610-1685?) for floral motifs applied on an enamelled background in a light, plain colour. This fashion lasted from the 1620s to the 1690s and was widely used to embellish all manner of objects, including watch cases and the reverse of jewellery pieces.

The Rosenborg Castle collection in Denmark contains an agate goblet, inv. no. 5-230, with broad mountings of leaves in the "pea pod" style, made of gold, with enamelling in white and painted in black, blue, turquoise and green. The Louvre also boasts various vessels, from the royal collection, with adornments displaying characteristic decorative features: painted black markings on smooth painted enamel, predominantly white. Examples include the adornments on the cup MR 181; the lip, node and base of the amethyst jug MR 219; the base of the goblet MR 258, the finish of the lapis lazuli nodule of MR 272 and the Mirror of Marie de’ Medici, MR 252, as well as the Prado’s O13 and O14 goblets.

The state of the work in the 19th century can be seen through the photography of Juan Laurent Minier, "Vase agate cornaline et albâtre, montures d’or avec émail blanc et noir, XVIIe siècle, règne de Henri IV", ca. 1879, Museo del Prado, HF0835/18 (L. Arbeteta, in press).

Technical data

Inventory number
O000009
Author
Anonymous
Title
Small agate and cornelian cup
Date
XVII century (Body); 1670 - 1700 (Adornments)
Technique
Enamelled; Carved
Medium
Agate; Alabaster; Cowry; Enamel; Gold
Dimension
Height: 12.5 cm.; Diameter: 6 cm.; Weight: 109 g.; Diameter of the base: 4 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. 33.

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. 344-345.

Other inventories +

Inv. Gabinete Historia Natural, 1776. Núm. 42.
Vasito hechura de copon con su tapa

There are no temporary exhibitions related to this work

Location +

Room 079B (On Display)

Update date: 02-05-2019 | Registry created on 26-11-2015

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