Covered cup (Globuspokal)
Attributed to Abraham Gessner, Swiss, 1552–1613
Height: 50.5 cm (19 7/8 in.) Diameter: 16.8 cm (6 5/8 in.)
Medium or Technique
Silver, partially gilded
Kunstkammer Gallery (Gallery 143)
This double cup in the form of a globe is a masterpiece of both Renaissance goldsmith's work and cartography. The engraving of the globe is based on the 1578 edition of Abraham Ortelius' Theatrum Orbis Terrarum (Theater of the World), considered to be the first commercial atlas. Among the innovations of the new edition were the depiction of the Spanish and French territories in North America, 'Hispana Nova' and 'Nova Francia,' and the representation of two important rivers in South America, the Amazon and the Rio de la Plata. Above the globe is set an armillary sphere, an early astronomical device representing the Earth at the center of the great circles of the heavens.