Lidded drinking vessel

Christoph Jamnitzer
Silver, gilded, polychromed, rock crystal
H. 52.2 cm
Gallery 26
Inventory Number
From the collections of the House of Wettin in Moritzburg Castle near Dresden. Acquired with support of the Bayerische Landesstiftung, the Ernst von Siemens Kunststiftung, the Kulturstiftung der Länder and the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media in 1994


This goblet is unique: the cup and lid form the head of a young black man adorned with a precious headdress. The base of the neck shows an eagle with three crescent moons. The commissioner of this extraordinary goldsmith's work was the Florentine merchant Carlo Albertinelli, who worked in Nuremberg. He had both his family´s coats of arms - the 'Moor's head' of the Pucci family and the eagle of the Strozzi family - transformed into a magnificent drinking vessel for welcoming guests. Around 1600, this type of drinking vessels were known as 'Willkomme' (welcome) and were often figuratively designed with heraldic symbols. The grandiose design gives an idea of why the works of the goldsmith Christoph Jamnitzer were sought after even at the imperial court in Prague. The goblet found its way to the court of the Elector of Saxony in Dresden and is mentioned for the first time in the inventory of the estate of Electress Hedwig from 1642 as 'Trinckgeschirr in gestalt eines Mohrenkopffs' (drinking vessel in the shape of a moor's head).

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