Ewer with Wild Man Finial


On view at The Met Cloisters in Gallery 14

These ewers long have been thought to be the pair mentioned in the 1526 and 1585 inventories of the Order of the Teutonic Knights, which were emblazoned with the arms of Hartmann von Stockheim, the German grand master of the order between 1499 and 1510 or 1513. Both works shown here are unmarked, and the attribution to Nuremberg is based on stylistic comparisons. For instance, the small cast figures against the buttresses are similar to examples by the Nuremberg goldsmith Sebastian Lindenast the Elder. The enameled and painted wild men are heraldic supporters but also can be understood as symbols of virility and procreation.

Ewer with Wild Man Finial, Silver gilt, enamel, and paint, German

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