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Beaker

  • Place of origin:

    Europe (made)

  • Date:

    1600-1625 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Unknown

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Gold and enamel

  • Credit Line:

    The Rosalinde and Arthur Gilbert Collection on loan to the Victoria and Albert Museum, London

  • Museum number:

    LOAN:GILBERT.28-2008

  • Gallery location:

    Gold, Silver and Mosaics, Room 70, The Rosalinde and Arthur Gilbert Galleries, case 6

The three enamelled scenes depict tales of love from classical mythology, including the story of Andromeda and Perseus. Perseus saved Andromeda from the attack of a sea monster; Pyramus and Thisbe were young doomed lovers.

The Rosalinde and Arthur Gilbert Schatzkammer is one of the few collections of its kind formed in the late 20th century. The Schatzkammer, or treasury, was a new concept in the 16th century. It referred to a special chamber in which the most precious artefacts of a princely collection were housed. Gold and jewelled objects were mounted alongside exotic natural curiosities, including rock crystal, nautilus shells and ostrich eggs. Together they demonstrated not only the wonders of nature and the technical achievements of the artist, but also the intellect and culture of the patron.

Sir Arthur Gilbert and his wife Rosalinde formed one of the world's great decorative art collections, including silver, mosaics, enamelled portrait miniatures and gold boxes. Arthur Gilbert donated his extraordinary collection to Britain in 1996.

Physical description

Gold and enamel beaker of tapered cylindrical form with three enamel vignettes of mythological scenes, the body covered with polychrome enamel insects and flowers. The scenes depicted are: Perseus and Andromeda; Pryamus and Thisbe; and possibly that of Marcus Curtius.

Place of Origin

Europe (made)

Date

1600-1625 (made)

Artist/maker

Unknown

Materials and Techniques

Gold and enamel

Dimensions

Height: 10.4 cm, Diameter: 8.6 cm, Weight: 320 g

Descriptive line

Gold and enamel beaker, Europe, 1600-25.

Labels and date

(Gallery 70, case 6)
9. Beaker with classical scenes
1620–25
The three enamelled scenes on this beaker
depict love stories from classical mythology,
including the tale of Perseus and Andromeda.
Where the enamel has been lost from the
surface, it is possible to see where the ground
has been roughened or engraved, in
preparation for enamelling.
Northern Europe
Gold with enamel
Museum no. Loan:Gilbert.28-2008 [16/11/2016]

Materials

Enamel; Gold

Techniques

Enamelling; Raising

Subjects depicted

Flowers; Beetle; Mythology; Turtle; Lizard; Fly; Spider; Love; Caterpillar; Insects; Butterflies; Snail; Grasshopper

Categories

Drinking; Enamels; Metalwork; Myths & Legends

Collection

Metalwork Collection

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