Spoon

Eucharistic spoon

German (?)
15th century (?)
Artist Unidentified artist


Object Place: Europe, England

Dimensions

3.5 x 21.2 cm (1 3/8 x 8 3/8 in.)

Accession Number

65.102

Medium or Technique

Tinted horn and silver (92.2% silver, 7.8% copper) with gilding and niello

On View

Alyce Morrissey Gallery (Kunstkammer) (Gallery 143)

Collections

Europe

Classifications

Metalwork

Spoon with slightly curved rod handle and bowl in the shape of a shovel; gilded silver mounts. Spoon carved in one piece; mounts cast or hammered, chased, repoussé, and gilded. With his feet clutching the handle and his tail wrapped around it, a dragon appears to crawl toward a seal-top finial with IHS engraved in Gothic letters surrounded by niello on the top and with four rows of repoussé dots on the outside. The dragon, whose body is cast in one piece, has an open mouth, extended tongue, beaded band on his back, and applied wings chased with shallow lines and zigzag bands. The roughly engraved mounts on the edge of the bowl and at the base of the handle have scalloped edges and a chevron pattern of alternating cross-hatched triangles and hear-shaped segments. Irregular lines emanate from the point of the heart-shaped segments whose curved edges are decorated with zigzag lines.

Provenance

Baron Maximilian von Goldschmidt-Rothschild (b. 1843 - d. 1940), Frankfurt [see note 1]; April 13, 1950, Goldschmidt-Rothschild estate sale, Parke-Bernet Galleries, New York, lot 64. Ernest Brummer (b. 1891 - d. 1964), Brummer Gallery, New York; 1965, sold by Ella (Mrs. Ernest) Brummer to the MFA. (Accession Date: February 10, 1965)

NOTE:
[1] In November 1938 Nazi authorities forced Maximilian von Goldschmidt-Rothschild to sell his art collection to the city of Frankfurt. Upon his death in 1940, the objects were transferred to and accessioned by various city museums. After the war, his heirs succeeded in legally voiding the 1938 sale and recuperating the collection, which was sent to the United States. See "Important French Furniture & Objets d'Art," Goldschmidt-Rothschild estate sale, part one, Parke-Bernet, New York, March 10-11, 1950, prefatory note.

Credit Line

Theodora Wilbour Fund in memory of Charlotte Beebe Wilbour