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Nef

  • Place of origin:

    Nuremberg (made)

  • Date:

    1609-1629 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    zur Linden, Esaias (made)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    silver, parcel-gilt, chased, cast, engraved, embossed

  • Credit Line:

    Dr W.L. Hildburgh Bequest

  • Museum number:

    M.425-1956

  • Gallery location:

    Europe 1600-1815, Room 6, The Lisa and Bernard Selz Gallery, case CA4

Esaias zur Linden seems to have specialised almost exclusively in the production of small ships which served as table and buffet decoration. Ship-shaped drinking vessels are used in princely households as early as the 14th century with first written records in France. In Nuremberg the tradition is known from the early 16th century onwards.

The wheels of this nef might indicate that it was rolled from guest to guest at the high table. The spout at the bow suggests it could also be used as a ewer.

Physical description

Nef on wheels, silver, parcel-gilt, with cast and applied silver figures.

Place of Origin

Nuremberg (made)

Date

1609-1629 (made)

Artist/maker

zur Linden, Esaias (made)

Materials and Techniques

silver, parcel-gilt, chased, cast, engraved, embossed

Marks and inscriptions

Mark of Nuremberg town assay office, 'N', punched on side of ship

Maker's mark Esaias zur Linden, punched on side of ship.
Nürnberger Goldschmiedekunst 2007, mark no. 527.

Zig-zag assay mark engraved on the side of the ship near town and maker's marks.

Assembly marks in Roman numerals:
'vii' inscribed above the heart-shaped opening to the spout inside the ship.
Beside wheels on front axle: 'xi' and 'xii'.
Beside wheels on back axle: 'x' and 'viiii'.

Dimensions

Height: 39.5 cm maximum height from base of wheels to top of sails, Length: 33.5 cm Maximum length from end of spout to end of ship, Width: 9.5 cm Maximum width across wheels, Weight: 769.1 g entire ship

Object history note

Formerly in the Baron Carl von and Baroness James de Rothschild Collection.

Descriptive line

Nef on wheels, silver, parcel-gilt, German, Nuremberg, Esaias zur Linden (1609-32), before 1628

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

Nürnberger Goldschmiedekunst 1541-1868. 2 vol. Nürnberg (Verlag des Germanischen Nationalmuseums) 2997, vol. 1/I, p. 256-7, mark no. 527/14; vol. 1/II, p. 747, ill. 125 with comparable pieces; vol. 2, pp. 151-2.
Oman, Charles. Medieval Silver Nefs. Victoria and Albert Museum monographs, no. 15. London: HMSO, 1963
Koeppe, Wolfram. Die Lemmers-Danforth-Sammlung Wetzlar: europäische Wohnkultur aus Renaissance und Barock. Heidelberg: Braus, 1992. ISBN 389466004X.
Boysson, Bernadette de, Ekkehard Schmidberger and Hans Ottomeyer. Orfèvrerie d'apparat Allemagne XVe - XVIIe siècle. Collections du Hessisches Landesmuseum, Kassel. Transl. Philippe-Henri Ledru and Marguerite Stahl. Bordeaux: Le Festin, 2001. Catalogue of an exhibition held at the Musée Bonnat, Bayonne, 1 Mar.- 6 May 2001; and at the Musée des Arts décoratifs, Bordeaux, 18 May-6 Aug. 2001.
Tasso, Francesca. [Catalogue entry.] In: Arnaldi di Balme, Clelia and Franca Varallo, eds. Feste Barocche. Cerimonie e spettacoli alla corte dei Savoia tra cinque e settecento. Milan: Silvana editoriale, 2009. Catalogue of the exhibition held Palazzo Madama - Muso Civico d'Arte Antica, Turin, 7 April - 5 July 2009.

Labels and date

1 NEF
GERMAN (Nuremberg); about 1620
Silver, parcel-gilt
Town mark of Nuremberg
Maker's mark of Esaias Zu Linden

Esaias Zu Linden specialised almost exclusively in the production of these small ships which served as table and buffet decoration. The spout at the bow suggests that this one could be used as a ewer.

Formerly in the Baron Carl von Rothschild and Baroness James de Rothschild collections. Bequeathed by Dr. W.L. Hildburgh, F.S.A.
M.425-1956
[1980-1990]

Materials

Silver; Silver-gilt

Techniques

Chasing

Subjects depicted

Soldiers; Flags; Mythology; Battle; Dragon; Ship

Categories

Food vessels & Tableware

Collection

Metalwork Collection

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