Attributed to Hans Greiff (German, active ca. 1470–died 1516 Ingolstadt)
Made in Ingolstadt, Bavaria, Germany
Horn, gilded silver mounts and cover
Overall: 9 1/2 x 2 9/16 x 3 1/16 in. (24.1 x 6.4 x 7.8 cm)
vessel (a) only: 6 1/8 x 2 9/16 x 3 1/16 in. (15.6 x 6.4 x 7.8 cm)
Lid (b) only: 3 1/4 x diam. 2 13/16 in. (8.3 x diam. 7.2 cm)
Gift of J. Pierpont Morgan, 1917
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 306
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.