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Cup

  • Place of origin:

    Nuremberg (assayed)

  • Date:

    1598-1602 (hallmarked)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Rühl, Georg, born 12 (maker)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Silver-gilt, gold, mother-of-pearl, gems (eyes and collar, some emeralds possibly reset), green and red pastes (body)

  • Credit Line:

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

  • Museum number:

    LOAN:GILBERT.60:1, 2-2008

  • Gallery location:

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

The Nürnberg maker Jörg Ruel, who made this cup and cover in the form of a partridge, was known for setting precious materials and natural curiosities in mounts of gilded silver. This cup is notable for the naturalistic effect of the carving. A similar cup by the 16th-century Nürnberg goldsmith Friedrich Hillebrandt can be found in Dresden.

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

Silver-gilt, gold, gems and mother-of-pearl cup in the form of a partridge with feathers of overlapping mother of pearl; removable head with gem set eyes, standing on an octagonal plinth.

Place of Origin

Nuremberg (assayed)

Date

1598-1602 (hallmarked)

Artist/maker

Rühl, Georg, born 12 (maker)

Materials and Techniques

Silver-gilt, gold, mother-of-pearl, gems (eyes and collar, some emeralds possibly reset), green and red pastes (body)

Marks and inscriptions

N as Nuremberg town mark (Nürnberger Goldschmiedekunst. 1541-1868. 2007, BZ11, used 1593/4-1602)

IR for Georg Rühl
see: Nürnberger Goldschmiedekunst. 1541-1868.2007, MZ0766a.

Dimensions

Height: 27 cm, Width: 14 cm, Depth: 10.5 cm, Weight: 1000 g

Object history note

Provenance: Purchased from S. J. Phillips, November, 1988.

Descriptive line

Mother of pearl and silver-gilt partridge cup with gold and gems; Jorg Ruel, Nuremberg, 1598-1602.

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Chapman, Martin. The Gilbert Collection of Gold and Silver. Recent Acquisitions 2. Los Angeles (Los Angeles County Museum of Art) 1991, cat. no. J.
Jones, E. Alfred. Catalogue of the Collection of Old Plate of Leopold de Rothschild. London: Bembrose, 1907, p. 16, pl. XVI.
Rosenberg, Marc. Der Goldschmiede Merkzeichen. 4 vols. Frankfurt am Main (Frankfurter Verlags-Anstalt) 1922-28, vol. III, no. 4086i, p. 161.
Nürnberger Goldschmiedekunst. 1541-1868. Band I. Meister, Werke, Marken. 2 parts. Nuremberg (Verlag des Germanischen Nationalmuseums) 2007, part 1, mm766, pp. 364-365, object no. 02.
Tebbe, Karin, ed. Nürnberger Goldschmiedekunst. 1541-1868. Band II. Goldglanz und Silberstrahl. Exh. catalogue Germanisches Nationalmuseum 2007-2008, Nuremberg (Verlag des Germanischen Nationalmuseums) 2007, pp. 143-146.
Schroder, Timothy, ed. The Gilbert Collection at the V&A. London (V&A Publishing) 2009, ill. p. 8. ISBN9781851775934

Labels and date

(Gallery 70, case 6)
4. Partridge cup
1598–1602
The Nürnberg maker Georg Rühl was known for setting precious materials and natural curiosities in mounts of gilded silver. Four partridge cups of this type were mounted in Nürnberg at the same time, with princely and royal associations. This cup became the so-called ‘supporter’ of Arthur’s coat of arms when he was knighted in 2001.
Nürnberg, Germany; Georg Rühl (1598–1625)
Mother-of-pearl, gilded silver, silver, garnets and emeralds
Formerly in the collection of Baron Leopold de Rothschild (1845–1917)
Museum no. Loan:Gilbert.60:1, 2-2008 [16/11/2016]

Materials

Silver-gilt; Gold; Gemstone; Mother of pearl; Garnets; Emeralds; Paste

Techniques

Carving; Stone setting; Chasing; Casting; Engraving (incising); Mounting

Subjects depicted

Partridge; Frog (amphibian)

Categories

Drinking; Metalwork

Collection

Metalwork Collection

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