This covered cup was most likely made in Augsburg in the early 1670s. Mounted in silver-gilt decorated with precious and semi-precious stones, the base, cup and cover are made from a narwhal tooth, which has been carved in low relief with fighting fish and sea monsters. The stem, carved in ivory, represents an American Indian couple. Narwhal teeth were important elements in European Art and Curiosity Cabinets (Kunst- und-Wunderkammern)—until the seventeenth century they were thought to be the horn of the mythical unicorn. More commonly displayed in their natural state, on rare occasions narwhal teeth were used to create works of art.

This covered and mounted cup makes a remarkable addition to our already rich collection of seventeenth-century Wunderkammer objects.

Covered Cup
Augsburg, Germany, c. 1670–74
Mounts by Hieronymus Priester (master 1649–d. 1697)
Ivory, narwhal, silver-gilt, precious and semiprecious stones
Gift in memory of Mae Cadwell Rovensky by exchange, The Anna Rosalie Mansfield Gift by exchange, Gift of Miss Mary C. Barton by exchange, The European Decorative Arts Purchase Fund, and the Douglas Tracy Smith and Dorothy Potter Smith Fund, 2012.4.1a,b

From Our Collection

1594, Caravaggio 1731, Canaletto 1749, Panini 1773, Wright

Upcoming Events

Nov
27
Thu
all-day Thanksgiving: Museum Closed
Thanksgiving: Museum Closed
Nov 27 all-day
The museum is closed on Thursday, November 27, for the Thanksgiving holiday, and will reopen at 10 am on Friday, November 28.
Nov
28
Fri
10:00 am Museum open at 10 am
Museum open at 10 am
Nov 28 @ 10:00 am
The museum is open at 10 am on Friday, November 28.
1:00 pm Tour: Highlights
Tour: Highlights
Nov 28 @ 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm
Tour: Highlights: Join a docent for an exploration of the collection. Meet by The Museum Shop. Highlights Tours are offered daily at 1 pm, Wednesday [...]
Nov
29
Sat
1:00 pm Tour: Highlights
Tour: Highlights
Nov 29 @ 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm
Tour: Highlights: Join a docent for an exploration of the collection. Meet by The Museum Shop. Highlights Tours are offered daily at 1 pm, Wednesday [...]
2:30 pm Tour: Looking at Landscapes
Tour: Looking at Landscapes
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