Standing cup

1680-1699 (made)

Unknown

Height: 29.00 cm

276-1878 MET

Standing cup, Trochus shell mounted on figure on bell shaped foot, possibly made in Nuremberg, 1680-1699

Trochus shell mounted on figure on bell shaped foot

Silver mounted trochus shells, polished to reveal the iridescent mother of pearl, were highly prized additions to a collector's cabinet in the 16th and 17th centuries. With their evocation of 'exotic' far-flung lands, shells were often made into impressive standing cups, as here, to dazzle on the sideboard rather than to use. The engraving on this shell has been added in the 19th century.

Decoration of shell appears to be later. Label info: Trochus shell, polished to reveal the iridescent mother of pearl, was a popular component on the 16th and 17th-century collector's cabinet. The engraving is from the 19th century.

George Mitchell Bequest

Location: Silver, room 69, case 4

View this object on the V&A website