Exhibitions/ Art Object

Footed beaker with cover

Johannes (Hans) Mautner (master 1670, died 1694)
Hungarian, Brassó
Gilded silver
Overall: 15 3/4 x 6 11/16 in. (40 x 17 cm)
Credit Line:
Gift of The Salgo Trust for Education, New York, in memory of Nicolas M. Salgo, 2010
Accession Number:
2010.110.38a, b
Not on view
This monumental beaker is the one of the largest known of its type. It has a hollow base and an undulating ring that marks the actual bottom of the vessel on the outside. Both of these features are characteristic of Hungarian and Transylvanian production. The inscribed coat of arms at left indicates that it belonged to a member of a princely Transylvanian family, Count Mikes, who came from one of the most ancient dynasties of the Székely people. Together with the Saxons, the Székely were crucial for the defense of Hungary’s eastern border against the Ottomans. The number “XX” may indicate that the beaker was the largest in an assembled set from which two smaller beakers are now preserved in the Hungarian National Museum in Budapest. The lute-playing angel garbed in peasant costume is very close to a similar figure decorating a silver-gilt tankard by Michael Schellung, made in Brassó about 1640 (Important English, Continental and American Silver and Gold. Christie’s, New York, May 17, 2011, no. 100). Both were likely inspired by the same printed design source.

Tihamér Gyárfás. A brassai ötvösség története. Brassó, 1912, pp. 110–11, no. 206.
European Silver, Objects of Vertu and Miniatures / Orfèvrerie européene, objets de vitrine et miniatures. Sale cat., Christie’s, Geneva, May 9, 1989, p. 58, no. 109.
Judit H. Kolba. Hungarian Silver: The Nicolas M. Salgo Collection. London, 1996, p. 80, no. 58.

Erdély régi művészeti emlékeinek kiállítása az Iparművészeti múzeumban / Ausstellung alten Kunstgewerbes aus Siebenbürgen. Exh. cat. Museum of Applied Arts. Budapest, 1931, p. 47, no. 231, pl. XVI.

Elemér Kőszeghy. Magyarországi ötvösjegyek a középkortól 1867-ig / Merkzeichen der Goldschmiede Ungarns vom Mittelalter bis 1867. Budapest, 1936, no. 234 [maker’s mark].
For a similar large beaker see Erdély régi művészeti emlékeinek kiállítása az Iparművészeti múzeumban / Ausstellung alten Kunstgewerbes aus Siebenbürgen. Exh. cat., Museum of Applied Arts. Budapest, 1931, no. 191, pl. VII.

[Wolfram Koeppe 2015]
Inscription: Chased on the body under the lip with two armorial devices, one surrounded by the inscription, CLEME[N]S MIKES CEL[SISSIMI] PR[INCIPIS] [T]RAE[NSYLVANI]AE CO[ME]S SUP[REMUS] CO[ME]S SUP[REMUS] CO[M/I]T[A]T[US] AB: ND: PRAE: RE: M: PRO: 1682 (Coloman Mikes, the supreme count of his highness the prince of Transylvania…), the other surrounded by the inscription, KALNOKI. SUSANNA 1682, and the lip, inscribed, XX.

Marking: On the underside: struck three times, the maker's mark of Hans Mautner, a Brassó goldsmith.
[ sale, Galerie J. Kugel, Paris , October 16, 1980; to Salgo ] ; Nicolas M. Salgo (from 1980) ; Salgo Trust for Education (until 2010; to MMA)
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