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Tankard

  • Place of origin:

    Hungary (made)

  • Date:

    ca. 1600 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Unknown

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Raised and cast silver-gilt with engraved and stamped decoration

  • Credit Line:

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

  • Museum number:

    LOAN:GILBERT.528-2008

  • Gallery location:

    Gold, Silver and Mosaics, Room 70, The Rosalinde and Arthur Gilbert Galleries, case 1, shelf 1

This tankard is distinctive with its tall elegant form and flared base. This particular style and form was developed by goldsmiths in Hungary. Hungarian art was influenced by the rule of the Ottoman Turks, yet its silver also has elements of German style owing to the large German population there.

This piece is an example of 16th century domestic silver. Such silver was both functional and ornamental. Objects for dining and drinking took elegant forms and were decorated in the latest styles. Beautifully crafted items intended only for display often adopted functional forms such as cups and dishes. Domestic silver was not confined to the most wealthy. Many people owned silver spoons or mounted vessels, items which often became treasured possessions.

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

Silver-gilt tankard with a flared base and a moulded girdle. The scroll handle has a demi-figure thumb piece. The cover is surmounted by a steeple-like finial. The body is stamped and engraved with arabesque decoration. A medallion has been applied to the inside of the base and is engraved with the initials "DFA". The rim of the cover is stamped with either unidentified initials or an inventory number.

Place of Origin

Hungary (made)

Date

ca. 1600 (made)

Artist/maker

Unknown

Materials and Techniques

Raised and cast silver-gilt with engraved and stamped decoration

Dimensions

Height: 30.2 cm, Width: 14.5 cm, Weight: 900 g

Object history note

Provenance: This tankard was previously owned by J.P. Morgan.

Historical context note

This distinctive tankard, with its tall elegant form and flared base, was developed by goldsmiths in Hungary. Hungarian art was influenced by the rule of the Ottoman Turks, yet its silver also has elements of German style owing to the large German population there.

Descriptive line

Silver-gilt, with stamped and engraved decoration; Hungary, about 1600.

Labels and date

(Gallery 70, case 1)
1. Tankard
About 1600
Hungary
Gilded silver
Museum no. Loan:Gilbert.528-2008 [16/11/2016]

Materials

Silver-gilt

Techniques

Gilding; Engraving (incising); Stamping (marking); Casting; Raising

Subjects depicted

Arabesque

Categories

Metalwork; Drinking

Collection

Metalwork Collection

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