Results 1 538
235 Previous Next

Nautilus Cup
Explore Object
Creative Commons License

Nautilus Cup


Description Conservation Exhibitions Provenance Credit
Description Shells of the pearly chambered nautilus were imported from the Indian and Pacific Oceans as natural marvels because of the lustrous beauty of the shell when polished and its amazing interior structure. A luxurious drinking vessel for court feasts, this cup underscores the host's magnificence and power over nature. Goldsmiths designing the mounts for these shells gave free rein to their imaginations, fashioning figures such as Atlas, a legendary titan of Greco-Roman mythology, who was said to balance the heavens on his back. The artist playfully calls attention to the artful contradictions of the piece. Although the shell is very light, Atlas' muscles are flexed in strain.
Conservation
Date Description Narrative
10/01/1947Treatmentcleaned; coated
4/05/1960Treatmentother
9/23/1986Examinationexamined for condition
9/29/1986Treatmentcleaned; stabilized; loss compensation; coated; other
2/09/1988Examinationexamined for condition
5/02/2005Treatmentcleaned; coated; other
Exhibitions
  • World of Wonder. The Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore. 1971-1972.
Provenance Caspar Bourgeois and Stephen Bourgeois, Cologne, by purchase; Sale, Cologne, October 19, 1904, no. 554; Raoul Heilbronner, Paris [date of acquisition unknown], by purchase; Henry Walters, Baltimore, 1908, by purchase, Walters Art Museum, 1931, by bequest.
Credit Acquired by Henry Walters, 1908

Download Image Add to Collection Creative Commons License

Creator
Period
ca. 1630 (Baroque)
Medium
nautilus shell, gilded on silver mounts
(Gold, Silver & Jewelry)
Accession Number
57.989
Measurements
8 11/16 in. (22.1 cm)
Geographies

Tags


    Thumbnail: Nautilus Cup
    Zoom Out Zoom In Back to Details  
    Full Size: Nautilus Cup