Lot 1
  • 1

A German silver-gilt model of a tripping stag, Balthasar Lerff I, Augsburg, first quarter of 17th Century

60,000 - 80,000 GBP
bidding is closed


  • silver
  • 26.4cm, 10 1/4 in high
finely chased and modelled, one leg raised in movement, with detachable collared head, on domed foot simulating a forest floor and applied with reptiles, beetles and a squirrel, marked on base


Baron Lionel de Rothschild (1807-1879)
Alfred de Rothschild, Halton House Buckinghamshire (1842-1918)
Edmund Rothschild CBE, TD (1916-2009)


Charles Davis, A description of the works of art forming the collection of Alfred de Rothschild, London, 1884, no. 166

Helmut Seling, Die Augsburger Gold-und Silberschmiede 1529-1868, Munich 2007, no 1159

E. Alfred Jones, Catalogue of Old plate of Leopold de Rothschild esq., London, 1907, pl. XXIII, p. 23

Catalogue Note

From Dr. Seling's record of the surviving work, Balthasar Lerff (1572-1622) was a specialist modeller of ceremonial drinking cups in the form of animals. These include a stag of the same size, 1602-1606, in a private collection, probably a record of the present stag - the remainder being held in the German public sphere; a Welcome Cup in the form of a boar the `Goldene Sau von Kandern' circa 1610, in the Baden Landesmuseum, Karlsruhe and a lion, 1618-22, in the Sammlung Angewandte Kunst, Kassel.

A Stag cup, 1610-15, by Lerff springing over a coral tree stump is in the Bavarian Nationalmuseum, Munich and was exhibited in Silber und Gold, Augsburger Goldschmiedekunst für die Höfe Europas, BNM, 23 Feb.-29 May, 1994, no. 4, p. 146. Note 7 of this catalogue  entry refers to a Lerff stag springing over coral in the collection in 1879 of Ferdinand of Waddesdon's brother, Baron Nathaniel Anselm von Rothschild. Another Lerff stag leaping was in the collection of Baron Lionel's son Leopold in 1907.