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Ornamental vessel

Unknownc.1480

Museum of Applied Arts, Budapest

Museum of Applied Arts, Budapest

The experienced metal-smith workshop responsible for this work of impressive scale may have been operating either in Nuremberg or a town in central or northern Hungary in the 1470s. Wherever the location, the commission undoubtedly came from one of the royal courts of the period. Later developments suggest this ornamental vessel was probably presented as a diplomatic gift to a Saxon princeelector, presumably as the commissioner intended, and was placed in the treasury in Dresden. The date of the vessel’s removal from the treasury and its further destinations can only be explained by an event which caused a considerable stir at the time. In August 1586 the highly respectable and extremely rich Hungarian nobleman, Count Imre Forgach (1540–1599), married the princess Catherine Sidonia (1566–1583) of the Saxe-Lauenburg family. According to contemporary accounts, the princess arrived at the castle of her betrothed in Trencsen, Hungary (today Trenčin, Slovakia) with a fantastic dowry. An especially valuable item in the dowry may have been this ornamental vessel, which was kept in the treasure chamber of Trencsen castle until 1599, the year of Imre Forgach’s death. In 1642, as a result of legal transactions, the vessel was acquired by the Hungarian palatine at the time, Miklós Esterházy (1583–1645), as evidenced by the ornament added to the front and back side of the vessel’s central part. This enamelled coat of arms of Miklós Esterházy is accompanied by the legend: C(OMES) NICO(LAUS) ESTERHAZI REG(NI) HUN(GARIAE) PALATINUS EQUES AUREI VELLERIS 1642 (Count Miklós Esterházy, Palatine of Hungary, Knight of the Order of the Golden Fleece).

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Details

  • Title: Ornamental vessel
  • Creator: Unknown
  • Date Created: c.1480
  • Location Created: Nuremberg, Germany
  • Provenance: Acquired from the Esterházy-collection in 1949.
  • Place Part Of: Germany
  • Physical Dimensions: h77.5 cm (Complete)
  • Inscription: C(OMES) NICO(LAUS) ESTERHAZI REG(NI) HUN(GARIAE) PALATINUS EQUES AUREI VELLERIS 1642
  • Type: Metal object
  • Rights: Museum of Applied Arts, Budapest, 2013, http://collections.imm.hu/terms-and-conditions
  • External Link: http://collections.imm.hu/gyujtemeny/diszedeny-kulacs-alaku-un-matyas-kulacs/1115
  • Medium: Chased gold plated silver.

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