Hard-stone vessels such as this twelve-sided rock crystal example are among the most treasured products of the Middle Ages. This beaker was likely produced in Venice, known as an import center for the cutting and polishing of rock crystal. The silver-gilt mounts, however, compare closely with pieces produced in Vienna. The silver is inscribed in verse around the base in a German dialect: WER/HIE•V/•DR/INCE/ET•W/INDE/R•MV/EZZ/E•IEM/ER•S/ELIG/SIN (He who drinks wine from me, ever shall happy be). That exhortation leaves little doubt that this vessel was intended for secular use.
Inscription: Inscription: (on enameled plaques above base) **WER / HIE*V / S*DR / INCG / ET*W / INDE / R*MV / EZZ / E*IEM / ER*S / ELIG / SIN; (etched on underside of base) 5818
Hollingworth Magniac, Colworth, England (sold 1892) ; Sir Thomas Gibson Carmichael, 12th Baronet of Castle Craig, Castle Craig (by at least 1901–sold 1902) ; Carmichael sale, Christie's, Manson & Woods, London(May 12–13, 1902, no. 87) ; [ George R. Harding(sold 1902)] ; Sir Samuel Montagu, first Baron Swaythling 1832–1911, London (sold 1924) ; Swaythling Heirlooms sale, Christie, Manson and Woods, London (May 6-7, 1924, no. 70) ; [ Crichton Brothers, London (sold 1924)] ; William Randolph Hearst American, 1863–1951, New York and San Simeon (1924–1940) ; [ Brummer Gallery, Paris and New York (1947–1949)] ; Ruth and Leopold Blumka, New York (1949–1989)
Los Angeles County Museum of Art. "Hearst, the Collector," November 16, 2008–March 1, 2009.
New York. The Cloisters Museum & Gardens, The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Treasures and Talismans: Rings from the Griffin Collection," May 1–October 18, 2015.
Catalogue of the well-known collection of works of art of the Classic, Medieval and Renaissance times formed by Sir Thomas Gibson Carmichael. London: Christie, Manson & Woods, May 12–13, 1902. no. 87, p. 31, ill.
Carmichael, Mary Helen Elizabeth, and Thomas Gibson Carmichael. Lord Carmichael of Skirling: A Memoir Prepared by his Wife. London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1929. p. 301.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Recent Acquisitions: A Selection, 1989-1990." The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin, n.s., 48, no. 2 (Fall 1990). p. 19.
Wixom, William D., ed. Mirror of the Medieval World. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1999. no. 183, pp. 156–57.
Barnet, Peter, and Nancy Y. Wu. The Cloisters: Medieval Art and Architecture. New York and New Haven: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2005. no. 65, pp. 101, 196.
Barnet, Peter, and Nancy Y. Wu. The Cloisters: Medieval Art and Architecture. 75th Anniversary ed. New York and New Haven: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2012. p. 103.
Brennan, Christine E. "The Brummer Gallery and the Business of Art." Journal of the History of Collections 27, no. 3 (November 2015). p. 462.