Lot 1
  • 1

Two Continental silver-gilt drinking cups in the form of a cock and hen, pseudo Ulm town marks, maker's mark CF, probably circa 1850

6,000 - 8,000 GBP
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  • Silver-Gilt
  • largest 22.5cm., 8 3/4 in. high
realistically modelled and  tooled, detachable heads


Emma Budge, née Lazarus, Hamburg (1852-1937)
The forced sale of her estate: Paul Graupe, Berlin, Die Sammlung Frau Emma Budge, 27, 28, & 29 September, 1937, lots 194 and 195
Paris Art Dealer
Ulmer Museum, Ulm, 1980
Restituted to the heirs of Emma Budge 2015


R. Sänger, Gold- und silberschmiedekunst, Bergkristall- und Steinschneidearbeiten, ‘Die Renaissance im Deutschen Südwesten’, exh. cat., Heidelberg Castle, Badisches Landesmuseum, Karlsruhe, 1986, p. 635, no. L. 34
Goldene Zeiten. Die Kunst der Ulmer Goldschmiede, Ulm, 18 October 2013-2 February 2014


Hugh Tait, Catalogue of the Waddesdon Bequest in the British Museum, London, 1988, no. 56
Gerald Jasbar et al., Goldschmiedekunst in Ulm, Kataloge des Ulmer Museums Katalog IV, Ulm, 1990, no. 11.
Jean-Pierre van Rijen, `De knuppel in het hoenderhok, hannen en hennen met het meesterteken HB, authentiek of vals?, Stavelij, Jaarboek, 2009, pp.66-75

Since they appeared for sale at the Emma Budge auction in Berlin in 1937, these drinking cups have been catalogued as the product of a south German Goldsmith from the town of Ulm working around the year 1600. When Hugh Tait wrote his catalogue of the Waddesdon bequest to the British Museum, he had discovered the cups (at that time in the Ulmer Museum) and noticed their similarity to an example in the bequest, which was struck with a realistic-looking date letter and town mark, the crowned rose of Dordrecht, and the makers mark HB conjoined, ascribed to the goldsmith Huybert van de Berch, recorded there in the mid- 17th century.  This Waddesdon example is one of a number of de Berch marked bird-form cups, in Belgian and Netherlandish public and private collections, which include at least four cocks and hens, a partridge (private collection) and a swan (Rijksmuseum).  All of these have been considered productions of the 17th century. Hugh Tait, amongst other considerations, suggested that the Ulm birds might have been the original model for the Dordrecht birds. Further examples of the model exist including one in the National museum of Copenhagen which purports to have Zwolle town marks and another like the current example with CL maker’s mark and Ulm town mark `a fat hen with carefully chased feathers standing on an oval base’ was sold in New York in 1913, part of the collection of Rita Lydig.  At the time of his book in 1988 Hugh Tait was not able to give  a  clear 17th century date for the Waddesdon bird/cup and suggested amongst several  17th century options that it was `probably no older than 19th century’. This position was largely supported  in the Der Stavelij article of 2009 although the writer concluded that further interdisciplinary work should be done before coming to a definitive conclusion as to the age and authorship of these models.  The Der Stavelij article published a 19th century drawing of a hen group with chicks (Victoria and Albert Museum) from the archive of Reinhold Vasters (1827-1909), known for his skill in copying earlier styles. A silver model after this drawing exists. Formerly in the Fritz Thyssen collection, it is now in the Bayerisches Nationalmuseum, Munich. Dated to 1639, it is also struck with the realistic Dordrecht town marks, date letter R, and the conjoined HB mark ascribed to Huybert van de Berch. While doubt exists as to the 17thcentury origin of these birds, (A further example exists in the Michael Welby bequest to the Ashmolean museum, Oxford, catalogued as `circa 1660 or c. 1825-1900’) they seem to date to at least before 1860. An example is illustrated in a catalogue published that year where the drawing as well as the written entry (`it is marked with a crowned rose’) makes it clear that it is one of the `Dordrecht  birds’ (See: F.W. Fairholt, An illustrated Descriptive Catalogue of the Collection of Silver Plate formed by Albert, Lord Londesborough, now the property of Lady Londesborough, London, 1860, p.9, pl. VII, i.)


The cock, small loss to the rim of cock's head, possible repair to one of cock's talons, hen very slightly wobbly on the table, general condition is good and colour very nice.
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