Mounted nautilus shell drinking cupOn display
Contact us about this object
Nautilus shell, polished and engraved with a woman with flowers overlooking a harbour scene; on the other side the angel encourages Tobias accompanied by his dog and the angel Rafael, captures a fish from a river; on the opposite a female figure with flowers. Beneath the back mount, now concealed (but visible in M. Wellby photograph) is the signature: 'MERIAN 1632', identified by M. Wellby as for Mattheus Merian the Elder. The stem is of elephant-ivory, carved with a male figure (Atlas?), astride a dolphin, holding up the shell. The mounts are silver-gilt, embossed and chased, with a dragon on top, a grotesque mask on the front, the foot embossed with scrolls and shells.
Mounted nautilus shell drinking cup
Artist/makerprobably Matthäus Merian, the Elder (1593 - 1650) (goldsmith)
Material and technique
silver-gilt, nautilus-shell, elephant-ivory; carved
Dimensions32.7 cm (height)
No. of items
Bequeathed by Michael Wellby, 2012.
Museum locationSecond floor | Gallery 53 | European Goldsmiths' Work
Our online collection is being continually updated. Find out more
Wilson, Timothy, Winterbottom, Matthew, Treasures of the Goldsmith's Art: The Michael Wellby Bequest to the Ashmolean Museum (Ashmolean Museum University of Oxford, 2015), illus. p. 66 no. 102