Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Footed beaker

Johannes (Hans) Retsch , Sr. (master 1608, died 1645)
first half 17th century
Hungarian, Brassó
Gilded silver
Overall: 5 3/16 x 2 7/8 in. (13.2 x 7.3 cm)
Credit Line:
Gift of The Salgo Trust for Education, New York, in memory of Nicolas M. Salgo, 2010
Accession Number:
Not on view
Telling stories populated with mythological creatures—like those engraved on the base of this beaker—was a favorite pastime at social gatherings. Parts of Transylvania, the home of Wallachian Prince Vlad III the Impaler (1431–1476/77), the inspiration for Bram Stocker’s Count Dracula, were allegedly inhabited by dragons and other highly dangerous creatures, among them wyverns and liver-eating eagles thought to hide and hunt among the precipices of the Balkan and Carpathian mountains.

Tihamér Gyárfás. A brassai ötvösség története. Brassó, 1912, p. 103, no. 149.
Important English and Continental Silver and Objects of Vertu. Sale cat., Christie’s, London, October 22, 1986, p. 29, no. 104.
Judit H. Kolba. Hungarian Silver: The Nicolas M. Salgo Collection. London, 1996, p. 41, no. 19.

Elemér Kőszeghy. Magyarországi ötvösjegyek a középkortól 1867-ig / Merkzeichen der Goldschmiede Ungarns vom Mittelalter bis 1867. Budapest, 1936, no. 192 [maker’s mark].

[Wolfram Koeppe 2015]
Marking: On the underside: the maker's mark of Johannes (Hans) Retsch, Sr., who became a master in 1608 and died in 1645.
[ sale, Christie's, London , October 22, 1986, lot 104; to Salgo ] ; Nicolas M. Salgo (from 1986) ; Salgo Trust for Education (until 2010; to MMA)
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