Description This extraordinary vessel, carved entirely of ivory, recalls in form and decoration 17th-century German and Flemish prototypes. Encircling the drum of the Walters tankard is a bacchanalia including a nymph with a putto on her knee, a youth playing cymbals, two bacchantes adorning a herm with garlands of flowers, a woman (possibly Diana) carrying a bow and arrows, an attendant, children cavorting with a goat, and a satyr climbing an altar. A Bacchic thyrsus rests on the ground beside the herm. The lid is composed of several sections pinned together. A child playing a tambourine and a seated youthful satyr blowing a flute form the finial. Below are friezes of foliage, scrollwork interrupted by shields, a cupid's head, and a rim with gadrooned carving. At the base of the tankard are a band of scallop shells carved in shallow relief and four scrolled feet attached by pegs and carved with alternating Pan and Silenus masks. The three-part scrolled handle is adorned with a satyr's head and a putto swathed in a billowing drapery. The conglomeration of decorative motifs and the coqettish character of the participants in the bacchanalia leave little doubt as to the late 19th-century date of this piece.
Provenance Dr. Ronald T. Abercrombie [date and mode of acquisition unknown]; Walters Art Museum, 1955, by gift.
Credit Gift of Dr. Ronald T. Abercrombie, 1955
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