Court jade tankard
Stone-Cutting: Johann Daniel Mayer (active 1662-1675)
Augsburg, ca 1660-1670
Jade; mount: silver fire-gilt, enamel
Height 10 cm, lower diameter 8 cm
Published in: Laue, G.: Tresor. Treasures for European Kunstkammer, Munich 2017, pp. 92-93, pp. 193-194, Cat. No. 4
Between 1662 and 1671, the Augsburg stone-cutter Johann Daniel Mayer made quite a number of hard- stone vessels for Eberhard III, Duke of Württemberg (r. 1628-1674), which are now in the Landesmuseum in Stuttgart. Particularly noteworthy in this group is a lidded tankard of heliotrope (bloodstone), which is virtually identical to the present tankard and is described in the 1664 inventory of the Stuttgart Kunstkammer as ‘a tankard carved of jasper by Daniel Mayer’s people [...], whose enamel mount is a goldsmith’s achievement’ so that it is verified as a work of Mayer’s. It is not clear who the goldsmith who made the silver mount was. In the past, works of this kind were attributed to the Nuremberg enamel painter Johannes Heel (1637-1709), but other artisans also produced flowers painted in enamel on a blue ground. One of them was the Augsburg goldsmith Hans Jakob Maier (active from 1665 to the close of the seventeenth century), who fitted numerous works in stone with enamelled silver mounts. There is another, virtually identical, jade tankard by Johann Daniel Mayer with exactly the same lozenge pattern on its wall in the Metropolitan Museum in New York.