Standing cup

Georgius May I

Not on view

The dolphin, symbol of a long life, is also an attribute of Venus, goddess of love, as is the shell which is evoked by the form of the wine bowl. In ancient mythology, the dolphin is also a companion of Bacchus, god of wine and erotic ecstasy. The cup’s form and imagery allude to the dangers of living in a war-torn region and celebrate love and a long, prosperous journey through life. The sophisticated program and quality of the craftsmanship suggest that the maker traveled through South Germany, where comparable vessels were made in Ulm and Augsburg. This cup is by the same master as that of a tankard with the story of Ahasverus in the Musée National du Moyen Age, Thermes de Cluny, Paris.

Standing cup, Georgius May I (active ca. 1655–84), Gilded silver, Hungarian, Brassó

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