Saint Francis Xavier

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Object Name: 
Goblet with Cover
Saint Francis Xavier
Place Made: 
Accession Number: 
Overall H: 27.1 cm, Diam (max): 8.5 cm
On Display
Web Description: 
This goblet shows finely executed decoration in the gold sand¬wich technique. The facet-cut cover contains a medallion-like roundel, and the bowl of the goblet displays a four-lobed car-touche with a depiction of the reclining figure of Saint Francis Xavier. This goblet may have been made for, or presented to, a namesake. Francis Xavier (Francisco de Xavier, 1506–1552) was a Span¬ish priest who had studied at the Sorbonne in Paris from 1525 to 1528. He was consecrated in Venice in 1537. He became a follower of Ignatius of Loyola (1491–1556) and co-founder of the Jesuit order. As a Jesuit missionary, Francis Xavier was named papal nuncio for Asia in 1541. He sailed with the Portuguese merchant fleet to East Asia, where he established the first Jesuit stations in India (1542–1549) and Japan (1549–1551). He was canonized by Pope Gregory XV in 1622, and he has been celebrated ever since for his missionary work and for promot¬ing human and international understanding. During the second quarter of the 18th century, several unidentified glassmakers excelled in the production of gold sandwich glass. Two thinly blown cups were cold-worked in order to fit together perfectly, decorated gold leaf was inserted between the two layers of glass, and the cups were glued together. The motifs found in the cut and sometimes painted gold leaf followed contemporaneous printed sources, and they typically showed saints, genre or hunting scenes, or allegorical depictions. For information on gold sandwich glass, see Olga Drahotová, “Zwischengoldgläser,” in Das Böhmische Glas, 1700–1950, ed. Georg Höltl, v. 1, Passau: Passauer Glasmuseum, 1995, pp. 56– 63. For more on Francis Xavier, see M. Joseph Costelloe, ed., The Letters and Instructions of Francis Xavier, St. Louis: Insti¬tute of Jesuit Sources, 1992; and Georg Schurhammer, Francis Xavier: His Life, His Times, 4 vv., Rome: Jesuit Historical Institute, 1973–1982.
Im Kinsky Kunst Auktionen, Source
Gold-sandwich technique (a) under four-lobed cartouche
Primary Description: 
Colorless glass, gold; blown, applied, cut, gold-sandwich technique. (a) Conical cup with cut vertical facets, stem with facet-cut ball knop, and circular foot with band of cut ovals on underside. Wall of cup shows a sandwiched gold four-lobed cartouche with a figurative depiction of a reclined Saint Francis Xavier framed in opulent baroque borders. (b) Facet-cut cover with cut and faceted knop. Sandwiched gold medallion in center of cover.
The Corning Museum of Glass: Notable Acquisitions 2011 (2012) illustrated, pp. 14-15; BIB# AI87745