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

Lawler, 1983 1863, Johnson Heade 1836, Cole 1846, Church

Upcoming Events

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all-day 41st Hartford Youth Art Renaissance
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Hartford Youth Art Renaissance, 2013 41st Hartford Youth Art Renaissance: Celebrate the 41st anniversary of the museum’s partnership with the Hartford Public School District to [...]
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1:00 pm Tour: Highlights
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Apr
23
Wed
1:00 pm Tour: Highlights
Tour: Highlights
Apr 23 @ 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 [...]

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Hours & Admission

Hours:
Wednesday – Friday: 11 am – 5 pm
Saturday & Sunday: 10 am – 5 pm
First Thursdays: 11 am – 8 pm

Admission:
Members: Free
Adults: $10
Seniors (age 62+): $8
Students (age 13 & over or with college ID): $5
Children (age 12 & under): Free
First Thursdays (from 5-8 pm): $5