View full screen - View 1 of Lot 3. A large covered silver-gilt ewer, Michael Müllner, Nuremberg, circa 1618 | Grande aiguière couverte en vermeil par Michael Müllner, Nuremberg, vers 1618.
3

A large covered silver-gilt ewer, Michael Müllner, Nuremberg, circa 1618 | Grande aiguière couverte en vermeil par Michael Müllner, Nuremberg, vers 1618

Sotheby's Ownership Interest

Estimate:

15,000 - 20,000 EUR

An Imperial gift

A large covered silver-gilt ewer, Michael Müllner, Nuremberg, circa 1618 | Grande aiguière couverte en vermeil par Michael Müllner, Nuremberg, vers 1618

A large covered silver-gilt ewer, Michael Müllner, Nuremberg, circa 1618 | Grande aiguière couverte en vermeil par Michael Müllner, Nuremberg, vers 1618

Estimate:

15,000 - 20,000 EUR

Lot sold:

12,600

EUR

An Imperial gift


A large covered silver-gilt ewer, Michael Müllner, Nuremberg, circa 1618


embossed and chased with two putti holding the instruments of the Passion surrounded by fruits, interlacing and caryatids, the hinged lid engraved G: MATTI.D. GRO.I.S. AN. FVN. ANNO. 1618. PRIC. ET. STAT. EVANG. SIL, and initials B.H.G.I on the screw inside the lid, the spout probably added in the late 17th or 18th century


Height 15in., 44oz 5dwt ; Haut. 38 cm, 1.376 g

__________________________________________________


Grande aiguière couverte en vermeil par Michael Müllner, Nuremberg, vers 1618


repoussée et ciselée de deux putti tenant les instruments de la Passion entourés de fruits, entrelacs et caryatides, le couvercle à charnière gravé G: MATTI.D. GRO.I.S. AN. FVN. ANNO. 1618. PRIC. ET. STAT. EVANG. SIL., et des initiales B.H.G.I sur la vis à l'intérieur du couvercle, le bec verseur ajouté probablement à la fin du XVIIe ou au XVIIIe siècle

Marked under foot, cover a little wobbly on hinge, figure finial has lost attribute, spout different colour of gilding, overall good colour, wear and scratches commensurate with age, but generally in very good condition


"In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective, qualified opinion. Prospective buyers should also refer to any Important Notices regarding this sale, which are printed in the Sale Catalogue. NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF BUSINESS PRINTED IN THE SALE CATALOGUE."

Private European collection

Albrecht Neuhaus Kunsthandel, 1998

Private European collection

Collection privée européenne
Albrecht Neuhaus Kunsthandel, 1998
Collection privée européenne

The engraved Latin inscription is :

Matt[h]i[as] D[ei] G[ratia] Ro[manorum] I[mperator] S[emper] AU[gustus] FVN[davit] / FVN[dator] ANNO 1618 PRI[n]C[ipes] ET STAT[us] EVANG[elici] SIL[esiae] G[ermaniae?].


L'inscription latine gravée est:

Matt[h]i[as] D[ei] G[ratia] Ro[manorum] I[mperator] S[emper] AU[gustus] FVN[davit] / FVN[dator] ANNO 1618 PRI[n]C[ipes] ET STAT[us] EVANG[elici] SIL[esiae] G[ermaniae?].


Matthias (1557-1619), from the House of Habsburg, became King of Hungary and Croatia in 1608 and King of Bohemia in 1611. He succeeded his brother Rudolph II as Holy Roman Emperor in 1612, at which time the Catholic emperor's authority had been diminished by feuds with his subjects including the princes of Hungary and Bohemia who were anti Habsburg and fervent Protestants. In his election to become emperor Matthias managed to obtain Protestant support, promising religious and political concessions, (in a conciliatory policy which he pursued after his accession to the imperial throne), focusing mainly on Silesia. Silesia had been essential in the Protestant intellectual sphere since the beginning of the Lutheran Reformation; it received the first Protestant university in Europe in 1526. Silesia was also very important politically having joined in 1609 the Protestant estates of Bohemia. Together, Bohemia and Silesia obtained from Matthias's predecessor Rudolph II, the Letters of Majesty which granted them religious concessions. Silesia wanted further and facing a refusal, decided with Bohemia to change allegiance and to follow Matthias. In 1612, the newly crowned Emperor not only confirmed the Letters of Majesty but also granted the Silesian estates its own independent German chancellery in Prague.


In 1617 however, Matthias now an aging emperor with diminished power pronounced his successor as emperor to be the fervent Catholic Ferdinand (already emperor in all but name). Following the order to disperse in March 1618, the Protestants met secretly and wrote a letter delivered on 21st May 1618 to the emperor Matthias reminding him of his patronage of the Protestant church and begging him for protection. The jug was offered, during this period of unrest either by the Emperor to reassure the Silesian churches or by the Silesian churches as a gift to accompany the letter. It has been suggested that the alter jug relates to the town of Fraustadt (today called Wschowa). The town, who was situated strategically at the border between Silesia and Poland, was one of the centres of the Protestant Reformation as well as a retreat for religious refugees during the counter-Reformation.


It has been suggested that the ewer was either given or donated by the Church of Fraustadt (now Wschowa, Poland). This town was a strategic point in the political equilibrium : situated on the border between Silesia and Poland, it was a very dynamic Protestant center and a refuge for those fleeing the Catholic Counter-Reformation. 


It is most probable that the spout which is indeed in the same style but looks from a different hand, has been added either in the 17th century or, possibly in the 18th century. This piece was formerly an impressive tankard and has been converted into a ewer for use reasons.

__________________________________________________

 

Matthias de Habsbourg (1557-1619) devint roi de Hongrie et de Croatie en 1608 puis roi de Bohême en 1611. Il succéda à son frère Rodolphe II comme empereur du Saint Empire Romain Germanique en 1612, à un moment où l'autorité de l'empereur, de religion catholique, se voit affaiblie par des rebellions de ses sujets, dont les princes de Hongrie et Bohême, opposés aux Habsbourg et fervents protestants. Avant son élection, Matthias réussit à obtenir le soutien des princes protestants par la promesse de concessions religieuses et politiques, politique pacifique qu'il poursuivra tout au long de son règne, notamment en Silésie. La Silésie était en effet non seulement essentielle parmi la sphère intellectuelle protestante – c'est là que fut ouverte la première université d'Europe en 1526 – mais également politique. En 1609, elle rejoignit les états de Bohême et parvint à obtenir de Rodolphe II, les Lettres de Majesté, accordant nombre de concessions religieuses aux états. Demandant davantage encore, les états de Silésie se virent refuser leur requête et changèrent alors d'allégeance pour Matthias. C'est ainsi qu'en 1612, l'empereur, tout nouvellement couronné, non seulement confirme les concessions des Lettres de Majesté mais accorde à la Silésie également sa propre chancellerie, installée à Prague.


En 1617, pourtant, Matthias est un empereur déjà âgé et décide que son successeur sera le très fervent catholique Ferdinand, déjà empereur de facto. Ce dernier interdit aux protestants de se réunir, ordre contredit qui aboutira, le 21 Mai 1618, à une lettre ouverte addressée à l'empereur Matthias, renouvellant leur allégeance mais rappelant également la liberté de culte qui leur avait été attribuée. Cette aiguière fut donc offerte, soit par Matthias à l'église protestante de Silésie pour lui confirmer sa bienveillance, soit par l'église elle-même pour accompagner sa demande.


Il fut suggéré que cette aiguière a été offerte par l'Eglise de Fraustadt (aujourd'hui Wschowa, Pologne). Cette ville était en effet un point stratégique dans l'équilibre politique : située à la frontière entre la Silésie et la Pologne, elle était un centre protestant très dynamique et un refuge pour ceux qui fuyaient la Contre-Réforme catholique.


Il est très probable que le bec verseur de cette pièce ait été ajouté soit dans le courant du XVIIe siècle soit au XVIIIe siècle. Si le style est homogène avec la pièce, il semble que la main de l'orfèvre soit différente ainsi que la couleur de la dorure. Il est probable que cette pièce fut à l'origine une chope de taille impressionnante que l'on a souhaité convertir en aiguière pour des raisons d'usage.