The itinerary <em>TITULORECORRIDO</em> has been successfully created. Now you can add in works from the Collection browser
<em>TITULOOBRA</em> added to <em>TITULORECORRIDO</em> itinerary

Vase in the shape of a cockerel
Workshop of the Sarachi
Close Continuar a ficha de la obra

Workshop of the Sarachi

See author's file

Vase in the shape of a cockerel

Ca. 1610. Rock crystal / Hyaline quartz, Enamel, Gold.
Room 079B

A zoomorphic vessel representing a bird with spread wings. It is made up of eight pieces of rock crystal joined by silver gilt mounts with overlays of gold enamelled in opaque white and black, together with dark blue and translucent red, fleurettes, C shapes and simulated inset rubies. The vessel has an ovate profile with two large gadroons enfolding the bird’s tail. Emerging from the narrower front is a long neck ending in a fierce-looking head with a crest and a half-open beak. Large feathers are carved on the breast, followed by foliate scrolls that leave the hind area empty. Two mounts on the sides hold the open wings, carved to resemble plumage. The vessel is supported by legs that rest on a small foot. The cover forms the upper part of the bird, and has a small baluster as a finial.

The piece is described as an ostrich in the Versailles inventory of 1689, and as a cockerel in those of La Granja de San Ildefonso in 1746 and the Real Gabinete de Ciencias Naturales in 1776. Besides being the symbol of France, the cockerel is also emblematic of two qualities, vigilance and courage (et vigit, et pugnax), which may have both a religious and a political reading. In terms of religion, the cockerel, according to St Augustine, is the image of one who longs to attain eternal life. Politically, it represents the brave and quick-witted prince, well-informed and impervious to danger. This animal is also related to the world of tradesmen and business in general, where the necessary diligence is represented by the cock’s morning crow. For the same reason, the cockerel also symbolises the father, who has to watch over his family, and the preacher, who “awakens” the repentance of sinners with the Word of God.

Arbeteta attributed the piece to the workshop of the Sarachi. This family specialised in making vessels in the form of animals. In the specific case of this bird, there are similar pieces made of rock crystal in various sizes in a number of European collections, such as the Cockerel at the Treasury of the Teutonic Order in Vienna, inv. G029. They also resemble another type of bird-shaped vessel that is described in the old inventories as Reiger (from Reiher, “heron”), since it was adorned with plumes of natural feathers in imitation of the original bird.

Original state: Juan Laurent y Minier, “Coupe, cristal de roche taillé et gravé, montures d’argent doré et or avec émaux. XVIe siècle, règne de Henri III”, c. 1879. Museo del Prado, HF0835/37.


Technical data

Related artworks

Case for vase in the shape of a cockerel
Leather, Wood, Metal, Fabric, 1690 - 1711
Inventory number
Workshop of the Sarachi
Vase in the shape of a cockerel
Ca. 1610
Chased; Enamelled; Carved; Engraved; Esmerilado
Rock crystal / Hyaline quartz; Enamel; Gold
Height: 25.9 cm; Width: 23.5 cm; Base/bottom: 17 cm; Weight: 861 g; Ancho base: 8.3 cm; Bottom of the base: 9.5 cm
Tesoro del Delfín
Royal Collection

Bibliography +

Angulo Íñiguez, Diego, Catálogo de las Alhajas del Delfín, Museo del Prado, Madrid, 1989 (ed.rev), pp. 174.

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. 219,220.

Arbeteta Mira, Letizia, 'Taller de los Sarachi. Vaso en forma de gallo' En:, Arte transparente. La talla del cristal en el Renacimiento milanés., Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid, 2015, pp. 129-131 n.16.

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. 105.
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 [...] 105. Otro vaso con su tapa y pie de cristal de roca, hechura de un Gallo, tiene una de las alas quebrada en la tapa, cuello, pie y asiento está guarnecido de plata dorada, y puestas en ella unas piezas de oro esmaltadas de blanco, negro, azul y rojo en forma de piedra rubí.

Inv. Felipe V, La Granja, 1734. Núm. 25.

Inv. Gabinete Historia Natural, 1776. Núm. 105.
Otro vaso: con su tapa y pie de cristal de roca, hechura de un Gallo, tiene una de las alas quebrada: en la tapa cuello, pie y asiento, esta guarnecido de plata dorada y puesta en ella unas piezas de oro esmaltadas de blanco, negro, azul, y rojo, en forma de piedra de rubi, vale 1.047...16.

Listado de objetos robados del Real Gabinete de Historia Natural en 1813 y devueltos en 1816. Núm. 105.
Otro vaso con su tapa y pie de cristal de roca hechura de un gallo, tiene una de las alas quebrada; en la tapa cuello, pie y asiento está guarnecido de plata dorada y puesta en ella unas piezas de oro esmatadas de blanco, negro, azul y rojo en forma de piedra de rubí: vale ... 1.047...16 [Conforme, esceptuando el pico del gallo que está un poco sentido]

Inv. Felipe V, La Granja, Tesoro del Delfín, 1746. Núm. 66.
Una Copa con su pie, y Tapa de hechura de un Gallo con Caveza, y Alas (la una quebrada) y Cola todo de Christal de Roca gravada de Flores, con Cinco guarniciones de Color de oro Esmaltado qe. tiene Catorce dedos de alto, y su Caja como la antecedente [de tafilete encarnado].

Agates, cristaux, procelaines, bronzes, et autres curiositez qui sont dans le Cabinet de Monseigneur le Dauphin a Versailles. Núm. 40 C.
Numº 40 / Prix contant Pistoles 50 / Un Autruche sur son pied ovale á patte d'oiseau garnie autour du corps, aux ailes au col et autour du pied de cercles de vermeil doré emaillez au pied de blanc verd et noir, haute de six pouces sans les ailes. / Valeur

Exhibitions +

Transparent Art. Rock Crystal Carving in Renaissance Milan
14.10.2015 - 10.01.2016

Location +

Room 079B (On Display)

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

Other works by Workshop of the Sarachi

Print on demand

Print artworks available in our catalogue in high quality and your preferred size and finish.

Image archive

Request artworks available in our catalogue in digital format.