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Square-footed jasper cup with cameos
Royel, Jean (?)
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Square-footed jasper cup with cameos

1687 - 1689. Agate, Chalcedony, Cowry, Enamel, Emerald, Jasper, Gold, Silver gilt, Ruby. Room 079B

Vessel similar to O38, except that the cover is missing. The precious stones on the jasper ring are complete, and the remaining cameos consist of a Roman-style bust of a crowned man and a woman’s head by the same maker, both of cornelian; another head, perhaps Hercules, in chalcedony; and a male bust crowned with laurel, with another female bust in the background, of agate, similar to a cameo preserved at the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna. No hallmarks.

This vessel and its pair, O38, are made in an unusual way, since they were not intended to be displayed when open. They are fashioned in silver and gold with the centre, the only part actually made of stone, left visible, for as stated in the inventory of the Dauphin’s Treasure drawn up in La Granja de San Ildefonso in 1746, the vessel consists of a piece of jasper with a quadrilobulate section while the rest of the cup is made of metal, producing the optical effect of an overlay when there is in fact nothing underneath. The design is very close to some by Jean Bérain the Elder (1640-1711), since a project for a credenza with several vessels that has been attributed to him includes some with similar forms and proportions.

The very rich decoration conforms to the tastes of the Paris school, belonging to the feuillages style produced during the reign of Louis XIV. The collection at the Prado contains numerous examples of this tendency, some enriched with cameos and others with simple mounts, but the technique is always the same: thin overlays in slight relief that are enamelled in opaque white with the ends in pink. The nerves of the leaves and the volumes of the petals are rendered with touches of black, and the corollas are sometimes enamelled in the same tone as the ribbons, following the designs made fashionable by Bérain. All the small elements are fitted onto a finely pierced surface forming a grid, which can sometimes alternate with smooth areas. Although inspired by classical forms, the exuberant richness and polychromy of these vessels make for a very personal style.

The O38 is reproduced in: Juan Laurent y Minier, "Vase agate sardoine, montures d’or avec émaux et pierreries, XVIe siècle, règne de Henri II", c. 1879, Museo del Prado, HF0835/3 (L. Arbeteta, in press).

Technical data

Related artworks

Square-footed jasper cup with cameos
Agate, Chalcedony, Cowry, Enamel, Emerald, Jasper, Gold, Silver gilt, Ruby, 1687 - 1689
Case for square-footed jasper cup with cameos
Wood, Velvet, Piel, 1689 - 1711
Inventory number
Royel, Jean (?)
Square-footed jasper cup with cameos
1687 - 1689
Chased; Enamelled; Carved; Mounted / set
Agate; Chalcedony; Cowry; Enamel; Emerald; Jasper; Gold; Silver gilt; Ruby
Height: 11.7 cm.; Width: 8.8 cm.; Base/bottom: 7.7 cm.; Weight: 389 g.; Ancho base: 5.5 cm.; Bottom of the base: 5.5 cm.
Tesoro del Delfín
Royal Collection

Bibliography +

Angulo Íñiguez, Diego, Catálogo de las Alhajas del Delfín, Museo del Prado, Madrid, 1989 (ed.rev), pp. 80-81.

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. 108-111.

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

Other inventories +

Inv. Gabinete Historia Natural, 1776. Núm. 6.
Dos vasos en forma de tibores, de piedra agata...

Inv. Real Museo, 1857. Núm. 61.
Alhajas y efectos preciosos que se hallaban colocados en el Gabinete de Historia natural y trasladados al Real Museo de Pintura y Escultura de S. M., en virtud de Rl. orden de 11 de Mayo de 1839 [...] 61. Dos vasos en forma de Tibores de piedra Ágata con sus pies cuadrados, tapas y asas de plata dorada, agallonada pie y tapa, sobrepuesto en todo ello diferentes piezas de oro, flores, hojas y cintas, y cuatro cubiertas en el pie con dos a la parte de arriba; en la boca y hacia la tapa su remate en forma de Tulipan esmaltado de medio relieve lo mas de ello de blanco, purpura, negro, rojo y verde transparente, las asas son unas hechuras de cabezas de carnero, y un genero de carton, y en la tapa y boca veinte Camafeos de diferentes tamaños; en dicha piedra sobrepuestos diez y seis engastes[..]

There are no temporary exhibitions related to this work

Location +

Room 079B (On Display)

Update date: 25-06-2020 | Registry created on 26-11-2015

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