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Art/ Collection/ Art Object


Georgius Olescher Sr. (active 1693, died 1707)
late 17th century
Hungarian, Brassó
Gilded silver
Overall: 11 3/4 x 5 1/4 in. (29.8 x 13.3 cm)
Credit Line:
Gift of The Salgo Trust for Education, New York, in memory of Nicolas M. Salgo, 2010
Accession Number:
Not on view
It is unclear if this tankard was made for private use or if it was always intended to serve as a communion vessel, which was its function after it arrived in England. The overall ornamental symbolism is connected to vanity. Fruit and foliage represent life, and stylized hourglass motifs divide the main body into six plain panels (for this vanity tradition see, Wolfram Koeppe. Die Lemmers-Danforth Sammling Wetzlar. Heidelberg, 1992, pp. 464-465, cat. GO 8). The cast finial plinth supports a cockerel standing on one foot, a pose adopted by the bird when it senses approaching danger.

Tihamér Gyárfás. A brassai ötvösség története. Brassó, 1912, p. 125, no. 278, p. 319, no. 45.
European Silver / Pièces d’orfèvrerie. Sale cat., Christie’s, Geneva, November 18, 1981, p. 29, no. 62.
Judit H. Kolba. Hungarian Silver: The Nicolas M. Salgo Collection. London, 1996, p. 95, no. 73.

Elemér Kőszeghy. Magyarországi ötvösjegyek a középkortól 1867-ig / Merkzeichen der Goldschmiede Ungarns vom Mittelalter bis 1867. Budapest, 1936, no. 252 [maker’s mark].
For a similar tankard, see Erdély régi művészeti emlékeinek kiállítása az Iparmüvészeti múzeumban / Ausstellung alten Kunstgewerbes aus Siebenbürgen. Exh. cat. Országos Magyar Iparművészeti Múzeum. Budapest, 1931, p. 19, no. 64, pl. IX.
For another tankard by this maker, see Important English, Continental and American Silver and Gold. Christie’s, New York, May 17, 2011, no. 122.

[Wolfram Koeppe 2015]
Inscription: Inscription engraved in Latin, IN USUM HOSPITII PAUPERUM APUD WOODBRIDGE FUNDATI A THOMAS EKFORDE ARM MDCLXXXVII (This for use in the place of refuge founded for indigents by Thoma Sekford [?] near Woodbridge, 1687).

Marking: On the rim of the base: the maker's mark "G. O." for Georgius Olescher, Sr., of Brassó, under a crown
[ sale, Private Collection, c/o Christie's Geneva , November 18, 1981, lot 62; to Salgo ] ; Nicolas M. Salgo (from 1981) ; Salgo Trust for Education (until 2010; to MMA)
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