Image of Gallery in South Kensington
On display at V&A South Kensington
Silver, Room 69, The Whiteley Galleries

Cup

1580-1600 (made)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

This cup once belonged to the Nuremburg Goldsmiths Corporation. It has been attributed to the workshop of Wenzel Jamnitzer. Apprentice goldsmiths applying for master-goldsmith status usually had to make a trial piece of work, or 'masterpiece', that met an agreed standard of workmanship. From 1531 until 1572 Nuremberg apprentices were required to make a columbine cup (named after its resemblance to the columbine flower), a gold ring set with a precious stone and a steel seal die. In some guilds apprentices or journeymen were not allowed to marry until their masterpieces had been accepted. Otherwise, they were subject to fines. If a masterpiece was refused, applicants could continue as journeymen working for other goldsmiths. They could also try to persuade a master to submit their work under his hallmark, although this defied guild regulations.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Silver
Brief Description
Cup, silver with repousse ornament of strapwork, flora, and figures of Diana, Lucretia, and Judith, by Wenzel Jamnitzer, Nuremberg, 1580-1600
Physical Description
The body in the form of 6 lobes in the upper part, tapering downwards, and alternating with 6 smaller lobes in the lower part tapering upwards, with repousse ornament of strapwork, flora, and figures of Diana, Lucretia, and Judith.
Gallery Label
  • Silver Gallery: This cup once belonged to the Nuremburg Goldsmiths Corporation. and has been attributed to the workshop of Wenzel Jamnitzer. Apprentice goldsmiths applying for master-goldsmith status usually had to make a trial piece of work, or 'masterpiece' meeting an agreed standard of workmanship. From 1531 until 1572 Nuremberg apprentices were required to make a columbine cup, named after its resemblance to the columbine flower, a gold ring set with a precious stone and a steel seal die. In some guilds apprentices or journeymen were not allowed to marry until their masterpieces had been accepted, otherwise they were subject to fines. If a masterpiece was refused, applicants could continue as journeymen working for other goldsmiths or they could try to persuade a master to submit their work under their hallmark, although this defied guild regulations.(26/11/2002)
  • CUP Silver Unmarked South German (probably Nuremberg); about 1570 This cup once belonged to the Nuremberg goldsmiths' guild and was probably made by an apprentice or journeyman as a 'masterpiece' to gain admission as a 'master' to the guild. The columbine form was one of the standard types used for such 'masterpieces' in the 16th century
Object history
Purchase - A. Pickert, Nuremberg (£150). This cup belonged to the Nuremburg Goldsmiths Corporation until 1868. It was acquired in 1871 in Nuremburg by Henry Cole.





Sir Wyatt report in register. Acquired with 614-1872 and 573-1872.
Subjects depicted
Summary
This cup once belonged to the Nuremburg Goldsmiths Corporation. It has been attributed to the workshop of Wenzel Jamnitzer. Apprentice goldsmiths applying for master-goldsmith status usually had to make a trial piece of work, or 'masterpiece', that met an agreed standard of workmanship. From 1531 until 1572 Nuremberg apprentices were required to make a columbine cup (named after its resemblance to the columbine flower), a gold ring set with a precious stone and a steel seal die. In some guilds apprentices or journeymen were not allowed to marry until their masterpieces had been accepted. Otherwise, they were subject to fines. If a masterpiece was refused, applicants could continue as journeymen working for other goldsmiths. They could also try to persuade a master to submit their work under his hallmark, although this defied guild regulations.
Bibliographic References
  • “Die Ungarischen Bieziehungen Des Glockenblumenpokals” Mihalik.S. Acta Historiae Artium Tom. VI 1959 Gold and Silversmiths work, Pg. 130, John Hungerford Pollen, Chapman and Hall 1879
  • Nürnberger Goldschmiedekunst. 1541-1868. Band I. Meister, Werke, Marken. 2 parts. Nuremberg (Verlag des Germanischen Nationalmuseums) 2007. Part I, no. 249/05; part II, p. 798, ill. 251
Collection
Accession Number
150-1872

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record createdFebruary 9, 2004
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