Deckelpokal (Goblet with Cover)

Object Name: 
Deckelpokal (Goblet with Cover)

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Object Name: 
Deckelpokal (Goblet with Cover)
Accession Number: 
Overall H: 34 cm, Diam (max): 16.9 cm
On Display
about 1820
Credit Line: 
Gift of the Ennion Society
Web Description: 
This Deckelpokal (drinking goblet) originally belonged to the German actor Pius Alexander Wolff (1782–1828), to whom it was given by Count Anton Heinrich von Radziwill (Lithuanian, 1775–1833). The name “Faust” engraved on the side suggests that the goblet was a gift to commemorate the premiere of a musical version of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe’s (German, 1749– 1832) tragedy Faust in the Berlin palace of Count Radziwill. Radziwill was a talented singer, virtuoso cello player, and composer. His most important composition was the musical version of Faust. The first performance took place during the 50thbirthday celebrations for Radziwill’s wife, Princess Louise of Prussia (1770–1836), on May 24, 1820. The director of the performance was Pius Alexander Wolff. Wolff was a renowned actor who had received his dramatic training in Weimar from Goethe, starting in 1803. Goethe praised Wolff’s ability and gradually awarded him roles of increasing importance. Wolff relocated from Weimar to Berlin in 1816 and became a member of the royal theater. Because the scenery for Faust was designed by the architect Karl Friedrich Schinkel in a medieval Neo-Gothic style, it is reasonable to assume that he also designed this goblet. The inclusion of amethyst and turquoise in the gilded brass mounts bolsters this claim because gemstones such as these were regarded as symbolic in the applied arts of the period. The form of the goblet is also linked to other designs by Schinkel, some of them for Werner and Mieth (see also 2013.3.13). For example, the Museum owns a Neoclassical vase blown of glass made to imitate porphyry, with mounts attributed to Schinkel (2011.3.177). The Faust Pokal is a unique object on many levels. It is without parallel in that it is the only object known in the decorative arts that connects Goethe, Count Radziwill, and Pius Alexander Wolff, all cultural luminaries of their day. Inscribed: “Faust,” engraved. Published: Literature related to this goblet focuses mostly on documents rediscovered with it in 1949, before it was briefly mentioned in the first publication on the inheritance of Pius Alexander Wolff in 1950: Hans-Georg Böhme, Die Weilburger Goethe-Funde: Blätter aus dem Nachlaß Pius Alexander Wolffs, Schaubühne, Quellen und Forschungen zur Theatergeschichte, v. 36, Emsdetten: Verlag Lechte, 1950.
Frank C. Moeller Fine Arts, Source
Wolff, Pius Alexander (German, 1782-1828), Former Collection
Prince Anton Radziwill (1775-1833), Former Collection
Engraved (a) on cup
Primary Description: 
Deckelpokal (Goblet with Cover). Colorless glass, gilt brass ormolu, turquoise, amethyst; blown, applied, ground, cut, gilt, acid-etched, engraved. (a) Goblet with ovoid cup, circular foot, and applied short stem. Body of goblet decorated with eight sets of acid-etched and cut laurel or lotus leaves and flowers around base, the word "FAUST" engraved in center, and an acid-etched and cut band around rim showing alternating stars and diamonds with flowers in centers. Stem and edge of foot are gilt ornamented with ormolu with turquoise insets. Bottom of foot has eight-petaled cut flower or starburst surrounded by eight sets of acid-etched and cut laurel or lotus leaves and flowers around edge. (b) Squat bell-shaped cover with eight sets of acid-etched and cut laurel or lotus leaves and flowers. Rim and facet-cut ovoid finial are gilt ornamented with ormolu. Finial has ormolu top with large faceted oval amethyst gem. Rim of cover appears to be missing gem or stone insets.
The Corning Museum of Glass: Notable Acquisitions 2013 (2014) illustrated, pp. 20-21 (#11);
Notes: Corning Museum Adds Major Work to Glass, Library Collections (2014) illustrated, cover, frontispiece;
Recent Acquisitions (2013) illustrated, p. 14; BIB# AI95664