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Coconut Cup with Silver Mounting, Germany, presumably 1635Estimated 20,000.00 €Unsold. Photo Auctionata

Curiosities enjoyed a great success in the 16th century. Moneyed collectors filled whole cabinets with such pieces. These ‘cabinets of curiosities’ in which were displayed works of art and all kind of natural produces, are considered the forerunners of the today’s museums. The present coconut-lidded cup is a characteristic curiosity and enjoyed a great popularity. The spherical body is made of carved coconut and stands on a high profiled silver ring stand. The very fine carvings present three hunting scenes, surrounded by round medallions trimmed with floral spandrels.

The scenes are divided by ornamental openwork vertical silver struts. The domed lid is also carved from coconut and shows a hunting dog with a deer and a boar within vegetable cartouches. The lid is fitted with a flattened ball knob and a jagged silver edge.

The cup is monogrammed and dated ‘fecit EH 1635’. The ring stand shows twice the maker’s mark ‘OPH’ (not identified) and the city mark. The overall height is 12.5 cm, and the total weight is about 260 grams. (cko)

Auctionata. Cabinet of CuriositiesDec 9, 2014, 12 pm ESTBerlin