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Flagon (one of a pair)

Date:
1597–98
Culture:
British, London
Medium:
Silver gilt
Dimensions:
Overall (confirmed): 12 1/4 x 6 3/4 x 4 3/4 in., 35 oz. 15 dwt (31.1 x 17.1 x 12.1 cm, 1.1115kg)
Classification:
Metalwork-Silver
Credit Line:
Gift of Irwin Untermyer, 1968
Accession Number:
68.141.142
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 510
The decoration on these ewers, which shows dolphins frolicking in the waves, was done by a great master who was at ease with his tools, capable of improvising and animating his subject. Used for wine, the ewers are believed to have been part of the famous Paston Treasure, a collection of exotica recorded in a still life in the 1660s.
Inscription: Old inventory number is pricked on the reel-shaped part of the stand: "96", also beside coat of arms on inside of cover hinges, on cover side.

On underside: XXXVI

Marking: [1] ? a branch in a shield (unidentified)
[2] Leopard’s head crowned (London assay office mark)
[3] Lion passant guardant (London assay office mark)
[4] V in shield (London date letter for 1597/98)


Location of marks:
On front neck of both pieces under rim; also on insetting flange of both covers
Bridget Paston (1st wife of Sir Edward Coke) (until d. 1598) ; Sir Edward Coke (until 1598) ; Sir William Paston (until 1663) ; Sir Robert Paston, Earl of Yarmouth (in 1679) ; Joseph Leeson, Earl of Milltown (by 1763, when he was created Earl on May 10, 1763) ; Private Collection (until 1885; sale, Christie's, London, July 17, 1885, no. 122) ; Private Collection (until 1905) ; [ Christie's, London , June 28, 1905, lot 95 ] ; Colonel R. W. Chandos-Pole (until 1914; sale, Christie's, London, July 1, 1914, no. 51) ; William Randolph Hearst (until 1939; sale, Parke-Bernet Galleries, January 5–7, 1939, lot 278); Irwin Untermyer (until 1968; to MMA)
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