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Turned Cup
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Turned Cup

Description Conservation Exhibitions Provenance Credit
Description With the exception of the tiny figure of Venus in silver atop the lid, this covered cup or chalice is formed of ivory segments, some of which were "turned" on a lathe, a machine that holds the material, such as a piece of ivory or wood, and rotates it at high speed against the tool that shapes it. During the 1500s, technical advances enabled the design of both utilitarian and decorative objects to reach high levels of complexity. In central Europe, where the technique was most practiced, noblemen and even sovereigns such as Emperor Rudolf II took advantage of the mechanical process to create objects with virtuosic qualities. This relatively simple chalice, in contrast to the complex objects made by master turners, is what such a nobleman might make.
Date Description Narrative
  • World of Wonder. The Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore. 1971-1972.
Provenance [Paris]; Henry Walters, Baltimore, 1929, by purchase; Walters Art Museum, 1931, by bequest.
Credit Acquired by Henry Walters, 1929

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1600-1650 (Baroque)
ivory and silver
(Ivory & Bone)
Accession Number
4 5/16 in. (11 cm)


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