Footed beaker

Hungarian, Nagyszeben

Not on view

In terms of silver content, one of these beakers (see also 2010.110.4) was considered equal to ten of the Show-Thaler coins, though their overall value is amplified by ornament and craftsmanship. Transylvania, a Hungarian province, supplied much of Europe’s silver and gold at the time. Alchemists regarded silver as the moon’s metal, imbued with magic powers. It was also the currency of cash, in particular the Thaler: a coin minted throughout sixteenth-century Europe. In an era marked by constant threat of war, precious silver vessels were literally worth their weight in currency—easily melted down in times of need.

Footed beaker, Silver, partially gilded, Hungarian, Nagyszeben

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