A Nuremberg 'Schwarzlot' enamelled beaker with satirical scenes, circa 1680
Lot 25
A Nuremberg 'Schwarzlot' enamelled beaker with satirical scenes, circa 1680
Sold for £11,875 (US$ 19,939) inc. premium
Lot Details
A Nuremberg 'Schwarzlot' enamelled beaker with satirical scenes, circa 1680
The cylindrical form with rounded base decorated in sepia-brown with five figures in a continuous landscape scene with a church within shrubbery, to the left of which is a mendicant friar turning his back on a monkey wearing a pair of spectacles on its buttocks and looking at a mirror between its legs, the second group comprising a fool carrying a woman on his shoulders, followed by a hunchbacked dwarf in the manner of Jacques Callot hosing the naked buttocks of the woman with a rectal syringe, 7.1cm high


  • Provenance:
    The Gustav Seligmann Collection, Coblenz and Cologne, sold at Cassirer-Helbing, Berlin, 27-28 March 1928, lot 66
    The H.Schiftan Collection, Vienna, sold at the Dorotheum, Vienna, 27-29 February 1936, lot 520
    The Siegfried Kramarsky Collection, New York
    The Hans Cohn Collection, Los Angeles

    Corning Museum of Glass, Journal of Glass Studies, 10 (1968), p.186, pl.38
    Axel von Saldern, Glas von der Antike bis zum Jugendstil. Sammlung Hans Cohn, Los Angeles (1980), no.227b
    Helmut Bosch, Die Nürnberger hausmaler (1984), p.447, p.359

    The loose connection of the decoration on the present lot reveals no strict thematic approach, but may represent the idea of ​​universal human folly. A popular caricature of ridiculous vanity is illustrated by the monkey who looks at his buttocks. The presentation of a monkey in contemporary satire was found originally in a card-game by Virgil Solis' (1514-1562) (compare with Ilse O'Dell-Franke, Engravings and etchings from the workshop of Virgil Solis Wiesbaden, 1977, cat. No. F 92, pl.63; compare also with E. Diederichs, 'Deutsches Leben der Vergangenheit' in Bildern, II, Jena 1908, pl.1150).

    The sketches of grotesque dwarves by the Baroque printmaker Jacques Callot (circa 1592–1635) provided the inspiration for the hunchbacked figure on the present lot (see the image below taken from Varie figure gobbi, di Iacopo Callot, published Nancy 1621-1625). The Nuremberg Schwarzlot decorator, Johann Schaper (1621-1670), also drew on Callot's drawings and prints for the decoration on his glass.
  1. Simon Cottle
    Specialist - Glass
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