Cup and cover thumbnail 1
Image of Gallery in South Kensington
On display at V&A South Kensington
Europe 1600-1815, Room 6, The Lisa and Bernard Selz Gallery

Cup and cover

Cup and Cover
1681 (made)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

Throughout the ages artists and craftsmen have made virtuoso carvings as a display of their skill and ingenuity. Although ivory, wood and stone are relatively easy to carve, other materials such as gemstones are much more demanding. Most of these carvings were made for wealthy patrons and collectors, who delighted in the rarity of the material and quality of the carving.

The sculptor of this cup and cover, Philipp Senger (Filippo Sengher) was an ivory turner to Cosimo III, Grand Duke of Tuscany (1642-1723) and made this object in 1681. He appears to have made this piece entirely on a lathe, including the figure that supports the cup. The elegant shape recalls silver vessels, but it was designed as a work of art and was not destined to function as a goblet.

This virtuoso piece epitomises the artist's skill as a turner. It is interesting to see here that the one figurative element, the supporting putto, is turned, rather than carved.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Ivory
Brief Description
Cup and cover, ivory, by Philipp Senger (Filippo Sengher), German, made in Italy (Tuscany), 1681
Physical Description
Cup and cover, supported by a standing putto, partially draped. Inscribed.
Dimensions
  • Height: 34cm
  • Width: 14cm
  • Depth: 10cm
  • Weight: 0.240kg
Marks and Inscriptions
  • 'FIL . SENGER . TORN. DEL . S. G. D. DI.TOSCANA . INVENT' (Inscibed under base with inked-in background)
  • 'ANCHE LA FIGVRA . E. FATTA AL TORNO .A. 1681' (Inscribed inside the bottom of the bowl with inked-in background)
Object history
Purchased for £11 8s. at the sale of the collection of James Alexandre, Comte de Pourtalès (1776-1855), held at his hôtel, 7 rue Tronchet, Paris, 6 March 1865, lot 1543.
Production
German artist, active Tuscany and Florence between 1675 and 1704.
Subject depicted
Summary
Throughout the ages artists and craftsmen have made virtuoso carvings as a display of their skill and ingenuity. Although ivory, wood and stone are relatively easy to carve, other materials such as gemstones are much more demanding. Most of these carvings were made for wealthy patrons and collectors, who delighted in the rarity of the material and quality of the carving.



The sculptor of this cup and cover, Philipp Senger (Filippo Sengher) was an ivory turner to Cosimo III, Grand Duke of Tuscany (1642-1723) and made this object in 1681. He appears to have made this piece entirely on a lathe, including the figure that supports the cup. The elegant shape recalls silver vessels, but it was designed as a work of art and was not destined to function as a goblet.



This virtuoso piece epitomises the artist's skill as a turner. It is interesting to see here that the one figurative element, the supporting putto, is turned, rather than carved.
Bibliographic References
  • South Kensington Museum, Inventory of the Objects in the Art Division of the Museum at South Kensington Vol. I, For the Years 1852 to the end of 1867 (London, 1868), p. 31
  • Maskell, A., Ivories (London, 1905), pp. 297-8, pl. LXV
  • Longhurst, Margaret H., Catalogue of carvings in ivory (V&A, London, 1926-9), vol. 2, pp. 89-90, pl. LXXVI
  • Aschengreen Piacenti, K., 'Documented works in ivory by Balthasar Permoser and some documents related to Filippo Senger' in: Mitteilungen des Kunsthistorischen Institutes in Florenz vol.4, no.10 (February 1963), p. 283
  • Von Philippovich, E., Elfenbein, (Munich, 2nd rev. ed. 1982), pp. 428, 431
  • Trusted, Marjorie. ed. The Making of Sculpture: The Materials and Techniques of European Sculpture, London: V&A Publications, 2007, p. 121
  • Diafane passioni. Avori barocchi dalle corti europee, exh. cat., Palazzo Pitti, Museo degli Argenti, Florence (16 July – 3 November 2013), Florence, 2013, cat. no. 35, p. 150
  • Trusted, Marjorie, Baroque & Later Ivories, Victoria & Albert Museum, London, 2013, cat. no. 289, pp. 295, 6
Collection
Accession Number
74-1865

About this object record

Explore the Collections contains over a million catalogue records, and over half a million images. It is a working database that includes information compiled over the life of the museum. Some of our records may contain offensive and discriminatory language, or reflect outdated ideas, practice and analysis. We are committed to addressing these issues, and to review and update our records accordingly.

You can write to us to suggest improvements to the record.

Suggest Feedback

record createdApril 14, 2005
Record URL