Table decoration in the form of a peacock

Hungarian, Munkács

Not on view

Festive drinking cups were produced in an astonishing range of animal forms, such as bears, rampant stags, owls, and unicorns, during the Renaissance and Baroque periods. Usually the head could be removed—as is the case here—and both parts of the cup could be filled with an alcoholic beverage. As customs changed, their ceremonial purpose shifted and during the eighteenth century these objects were mainly seen as humorous table ornaments, comparable to porcelain statuettes. Peacock cups like this were typically made in Hungary. Any drink poured into its detachable head had to be drunk at once, since it cannot be set down while full. The partial gilding emphasizes the "eyes" on the peacock's tail feathers, symbols of pride.

Table decoration in the form of a peacock, Silver, partly gilded, Hungarian, Munkács

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