Description Clever displays of inventiveness with no other purpose than to amuse were valued interludes at the long, lavish, and sometimes tedious banquets that were part of court life. This automaton is a motorized wine decanter. Remove the head of the stag, fill the body with wine, wind up the motor (the key hole is in the base) and send lovely Diana down the table to your guests. This type of table toy was a specialty of goldsmiths in Augsburg, and the Walters' piece is close to a version (now in New York) marked by the Augsburg goldsmith Joachim Fries. However, details are not as subtle as they should be. More research is needed; if not from the early 1600s, this automaton is from the early 1800s, shortly before its collection history can be established.
- World of Wonder. The Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore. 1971-1972.
- The Splendor of Dresden: Five Centuries of Art Collecting, an Exhibition from the German Democratic Republic. National Gallery of Art, Washington; The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, San Francisco. 1978-1979.
Provenance Henry Walters, Baltimore, 1910 [mode of acquisition unknown]; Walters Art Museum, 1931, by bequest.
Credit Acquired by Henry Walters, 1910
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