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Tall rock crystal vase with handles in the form of beasts
Taller de las Águilas
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Taller de las Águilas

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Tall rock crystal vase with handles in the form of beasts

1550 - 1600. Rock crystal / Hyaline quartz, Enamel, Gold.
Room 079B

A vessel composed of five pieces of rock crystal and seven mounts. It has a deep egg-shaped bowl with a narrow base broadening at the shoulders, where a short neck emerges from a ring mount to open into a cruciform mouth. There are concave gadroons with mouldings on the upper and lower parts, while in the centre are two lines of intersecting vegetable spirals with seeds. Perched on the edges of these are eagles with their heads turned towards the gaps. Some insects are also visible. Joined to the neck by black enamelled mounts are two handles in the form of schematic mermaids or fantastical creatures with half-wings, women’s breasts, waistbands and short hair with diadems, transformed from the waist down into console legs. An enamelled garland in a rope pattern joins the body to the circular foot decorated with sprays, which ends in an unadorned silver gilt mount.

The unadorned mount on the foot may not be the original, but is already described in the Versailles inventory of 1689. The piece is very similar in proportions to number O92 in the Dauphin’s Treasure, but is rather larger. Angulo found points of comparison with a similar vessel in the Alfred de Rothschild collection. The decoration, divided into three zones, follows patterns common to many Milanese workshops. The birds are similar to those decorating the bottle, O94, at the Prado, and the handles can be related to those on vessels O87, O90 and O91 of the Dauphin’s Treasure, and also those of a piece at the Musée du Louvre, OA 2025. The use of insects relates the vase to Milanese products of the last years of the 16th century and the whole of the 17th, when the motif became more and more common, and even distinctive of certain works assigned to the workshop of Giovanni Battista Metellino, whose decoration is of a coarser quality. The frequent use of corn ears with grains coincides with O109 at the Prado, where there is a representation of an eagle. The two pieces have similarly decorated cases.

Original state: Juan Laurent y Minier, “Amphore, en cristal de roche taillé et gravé, montures d’or avec émaux, XVIe siècle, règne de Henri II”, c. 1879. Museo del Prado, HF0835/42.

Technical data

Inventory number
Taller de las Águilas
Tall rock crystal vase with handles in the form of beasts
1550 - 1600
Enamelled; Carved; Engraved; Esmerilado
Rock crystal / Hyaline quartz; Enamel; Gold
Height: 41 cm; Width: 23.9 cm; Base/bottom: 14.3 cm; Weight: 2067 g; Diameter of the base: 13 cm
Tesoro del Delfín
Royal Collection

Bibliography +

Angulo Íñiguez, Diego, Catálogo de las Alhajas del Delfín, Museo del Prado, Madrid, 1989 (ed.rev), pp. 155.

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. 259,260.

Arbeteta, Leticia, 'Tesoro del delfín. Una herencia de la familia real francesa' En:, Los tesoros ocultos del Museo del Prado, Madrid, 2017, pp. 248-276.

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

Azcue Brea, Leticia, Rarezas y lujo para deslumbrar: el Tesoro del Delfín., Ars & Renovatio.Centro de Estudios de Arte del Renacimiento, 7, 2019, pp. 504-519.

Other inventories +

Inv. Real Museo, 1857. Núm. 106.
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 [...] 106. Un jarro grande con sus dos asas y pie de cristal de roca, abiertos en el unos ramos y pajaros agallonado, en las asas dos vichas, el pie algo sentido, tiene en el, en las alas y cuerpo seis engarces de oro esmaltado de blanco, negro y verde.

Inv. Gabinete Historia Natural, 1776. Núm. 106.
Un Jarro grande con sus dos asas y pie, de cristal de roca, de cristal de roca, abiertos en el ramos y Pajaros agallonado, en las asas, dos vichas el pie algo sentido; tiene en el de las asas y cuerpo, seis engarzes de oro esmaltado de blanco, negro y verde vale 12.303...20.

Listado de objetos robados del Real Gabinete de Historia Natural en 1813 y devueltos en 1816. Núm. 106.
Un Jarron grande con sus dos asas y pie de cristal de roca, abiertos en él ramos y pajaros agallonado: en las asas dos vichas, el pie algo sentido; tiene en él, en las asas y cuerpo , seis engarces de oro esmaltados de blanco, negro y verde : vale ... 12.303...20 [Conforme]

Inv. Felipe V, La Granja, Tesoro del Delfín, 1746. Núm. 86.
Una Jarra con su pie, Cuello y dos Asas, que represtªn. dos Esphinges todo de Christal de Roca, gravados de ramos, y Pajaros con siete guarniciones las seis de ellas de Color de oro Esmaltado, y la que circunda el pie lisa, qe. inclusas las Asas tiene media vara de alto, y Caja de tafilete negro.

Agates, cristaux, procelaines, bronzes, et autres curiositez qui sont dans le Cabinet de Monseigneur le Dauphin a Versailles. Núm. 2.

Location +

Room 079B (On Display)

Update date: 30-04-2022 | Registry created on 02-12-2015

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