4 Covered Goblets Engraved with Continents

Object Name: 
4 Covered Goblets Engraved with Continents

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Object Name: 
4 Covered Goblets Engraved with Continents
Accession Number: 
Each Overall H: 44.0 cm; Foot Diam: 16.5 cm
Not on Display
about 1710-1725
Web Description: 
This unusually large set of four covered goblets was probably made in Glücksburg, Saxony. Each is cut and engraved on one side with a female personification of one of the four continents that were known in the early 18th century. “Africa” is taken from a design by the Flemish painter Dirk Barentsz (1534-1592). “America” was represented as part of the tropics, sharing with Africa the connotation of a “savage” country. “Asia” was the real source of wealth for Europeans. Richly dressed, she reclines in a luscious landscape that recalls Persian gardens dotted with domed buildings. “Europa” appears with the traditional attributes of power: the crown and the orb. Thus endowed, she remains the queen of the four parts of the world. The master engraver who worked on this set apparently did not complete his ambitious task. The panel depicting America was engraved by a less-accomplished hand.
Rudigier-Ruckert, Gertrud, Source
Primary Description: 
Colorless, with purplish tinge. Blown, cut, engraved. Four goblets, each with bell-shaped bowl with rounded and faceted base. Stem consists of faceted inverted baluster between faceted flattened knops and mereses. Blown flat foot with rough pontil mark. Domed cover with folded rim and inset brim, top faceted as rosette, with finial in middle. Finial, faceted and shaped like pine cone, on merese, capstan, and faceted flattened knop. Foot is engraved with matte ring at rim. On each bowl, set into approximate circle, engraved personification of a continent: (1) “Africa,” reclining nude female with sparse drapery and parasol, with bow and quiver in front of her; in background, lions, elephants, and nude family in front of tent and little town; (2) “America,” with Indian king sitting in front of palm tree and holding parrot in his left hand; in background, two naked Indians attacking alligator with bow and spear; ( 3 ) “Asia,” in richly folded garment, wearing turban and sandals, with Saracen sword in front; in background, hilly landscape with two camels and two Orientals; and ( 4 ) “Evropa,” crowned female holding large cornucopia, with armor in front and shepherd, horses, and cows in landscape that includes steep mountains as well as seacoast.
Glass of the Alchemists: Lead Crystal-Gold Ruby, 1650-1750 (2008) illustrated, pp. 288-291, #111; BIB# 103865