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Ewer

  • Place of origin:

    Spain (made)

  • Date:

    1580-1599 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Unknown

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Silver, parcel-gilt

  • Credit Line:

    Dr W.L. Hildburgh Bequest

  • Museum number:

    M.380-1956

  • Gallery location:

    Silver, Room 69, The Whiteley Galleries, case 16

Few examples of Spanish domestic silver have survived from the great wealth of material recorded in archives and still-life paintings. This ewer and its basin (M.380A-1956) belong to a rare set and may have avoided being melted down by its possible use in a church for baptisms, or in ceremonies in which the priest washes his hands. The decoration of interlaced bands (called strapwork ornament) on the rim of the basin was very popular on Spanish silver until about 1640. In contrast to the ewer's restrained decoration, its elongated spout and the grotesque mask beneath the spout are typical of the exaggerated, fantastical Mannerist style of the late 16th century.

Physical description

Base cast with concentric rings. Body is raised. Horizontal gilt band round body and shoulder. Both chased and engraved with strap work. Elongated spout with grotesque mask on body.

Place of Origin

Spain (made)

Date

1580-1599 (made)

Artist/maker

Unknown

Materials and Techniques

Silver, parcel-gilt

Marks and inscriptions

The basin engraved with an unidentified coat of arms

Unmarked

Dimensions

Height: 33.05 cm, Length: 22.00 cm, Width: 12.00 cm, Width: 8.08 cm foot

Object history note

Acquisition RF: 55/4478A
Dr W.L. Hildburgh FSA Bequest

The strapwork on the rim of the basin draws on Renaissance ornament, but the grotesque cast forming the ewer's handle and its elongated proportions are evidence of the arrival of Mannerism.

Descriptive line

Spain. Late 16th century; Silver, Continental

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

The Golden Age of Hispanic Silver 1400-1665, Charles Oman, Pg.129, pl.144, HMSO, 1968

Labels and date

Silver Gallery:
Few examples of Spanish domestic silver have survived from the great wealth of material recorded in archives and still-life paintings. The ewer and basin belongs to a rare set and may have avoided being melted down by its possible use in a church for baptisms, or in ceremonies in which the priest washes his hands. The decoration of interlaced bands (called strapwork ornament) on the rim of the basin was very popular on Spanish silver until about 1640. In contrast to the ewer's restrained decoration, its elongated spout and the grotesque mask beneath the spout are typical of the exaggerated, fantastical Mannerist style of the late 16th century. [26/11/2002]

Categories

Metalwork

Collection

Metalwork Collection

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