The size of the section of mountain goat (ibex) horn from which this beaker was fashioned dictated its scale. Though small, the beaker is handsomely mounted, a reminder that drinking vessels, particularly the more elaborate ones, of the late Gothic period, were intended not only for use but for display.
The use of horn as a material for drinking vessels was not uncommon, although the exploitation of the natural protrusions of this ridged horn as a grip is an unusual feature. The basic form, however, is essentially that of a traditional beaker, a cylinder with a slightly flared mouth and a flat base. This vessel rests on three feet in the form of mountain goats of the type from which the horn came. The embossed, lobed cover, executed in a technique popular in Germany, has a repoussé lion on the inside and is surmounted by a finial of a man carrying a shield with no armorial bearings. The cup does, however, bear the town mark of Ingolstadt, which securely establishes its provenance.
Marking: (Town mark of Ingolstadt)
J. Pierpont Morgan, London and New York (until 1917); Baron Albert Oppenheim, Cologne
Molinier, Émile. Collection du Baron Albert Oppenheim: Tableaux et objets d'art, catalogue précédé d'une introduction. Paris: Librairie Centrale des Beaux-Arts, 1904. no. 142, p. 61, pl. LXXXVI.