Lot 11
  • 11

A COVERED COCONUT CUP WITH SILVER MOUNTS, THE MOUNTS AMSTERDAM, 1607 | A covered coconut cup with silver mounts, the mounts Amsterdam, 1607

50,000 - 70,000 EUR
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  • Haut. 34,5 cm ; 13 1/2 in. high
on a circular base resting on four turtles, with dolphins and shells, the stem shaped as a siren on a dolphin holding shells, the body shaped as a fish, the spout cast as a monkey's head, the finial shaped as Neptune


According to the family tradition, given by Anne-Louis-Alexandre de Montmorency, 7th Prince of Robecq (1724-1812), at the time of the French Revolution to the direct ancestor of the current owner. The Prince de Robecq played an important as  was great first-class Spain, Marquis de Morbecque, Earl of Estaires, Viscount d'Aire, Knight of the Order of the Holy Spirit, Knight of St. Louis, Camp Marshal, married in 1745 with Anne de Montmorency-Luxembourg.
During the French Revolution, the Prince went in exile and became Commander-in-Chief of the King armies in Flander. His properties in France went confiscated. His castle, Cany Barville, between Dieppe and Etretat, was bought by his intendant, Mr Pessey. After the Revolution, the Prince came back to see his castle and his intendant declared he bought the castle to give it back to him. In recognition of this, the Prince, when he died without heir in 1812, bequeathed his furnitures and works of art to Mr Pessey and the castle to the city of Cany Barville.
Mr Pessey is the current owner's direct ancestor.
Selon la tradition familiale, donné par Anne-Louis-Alexandre de Montmorency, 7ème prince de Robecq (1724-1812), au moment de la révolution française à l'ancêtre direct du propriétaire actuel. Le prince de Robecq était grand d'Espagne de première classe, marquis de Morbecque, comte d'Estaires, vicomte d'Aire, Chevalier de l'Ordre du Saint-Esprit, chevalier de Saint-Louis, maréchal de camps, marié en 1745 avec Anne de Montmorency-Luxembourg. Lors de la révolution, le prince s'exila et fut nommé commandant en chef des armées du Roi en Flandre. Ses biens en France furent confisqués et vendus. Son château de Cany Barville, entre Dieppe et Etretat, fut acheté par son intendant Pessey. Après la révolution, le prince voulut revoir son château. Il fut reçu par Monsieur Pessey qui lui confia qu'il avait acquis son château pour le lui rendre. En guise de reconnaissance, le prince, mort sans héritier en 1812, lui légua ses biens mobiliers et donna son château à la commune de Cany Barville.
Cet intendant est l'ancêtre direct de l'actuel propriétaire.


The finial terrace with three very small areas of the petals missing and some bent. The coconut with one small hole under the tail and next to the strap. The silver mermaid with a small hole at front and back, between her legs. Some dents to the edges and some scratches to the surface. Screwable foot. In overall good condition. Marks on footrim almost illegible, on mount under the coconut, legible town and date marks. An assay scratch under the footrim. Very unusual and rare piece.
The lot is sold in the condition it is in at the time of sale. The condition report is provided to assist you with assessing the condition of the lot and is for guidance only. Any reference to condition in the condition report for the lot does not amount to a full description of condition. The images of the lot form part of the condition report for the lot provided by Sotheby's. Certain images of the lot provided online may not accurately reflect the actual condition of the lot. In particular, the online images may represent colours and shades which are different to the lot's actual colour and shades. The condition report for the lot may make reference to particular imperfections of the lot but you should note that the lot may have other faults not expressly referred to in the condition report for the lot or shown in the online images of the lot. The condition report may not refer to all faults, restoration, alteration or adaptation because Sotheby's is not a professional conservator or restorer but rather the condition report is a statement of opinion genuinely held by Sotheby's. For that reason, Sotheby's condition report is not an alternative to taking your own professional advice regarding the condition of the lot.

Catalogue Note

Carved coconuts mounted in silver are rare in Dutch production. These nuts, generally from Brazil, were more commonly mounted in vermeil in Germany in the late sixteenth and the first half of the seventeenth century. The frame of this nut presents a very original fantastic decoration evoking the painting of Hieronymus Bosch.
The mount had been realized very early. For another coconut, but set up in The Hague in 1661, see Jet Pijzel-Dommisse, Haags Gouden Zilver, 2005, p. 308-309.