Description & Technical information

The finely crafted tankard has the cylindrical shape of a round pitcher. It is raised on a slightly projecting profiled ring base, which is highlighted by a running rhombus-frieze. The wall of the tankard tapers slightly upwards and terminates in a profiled, slightly curved to the outside edge rim. The tankard is almost completely covered with stylized lilies ornaments and finely tapered scrolls, while heart shapes form the framework for a teardrop patterns decor. The fine details of rolled leaves, hearts and volute that surround the teardrop pattern make this central decorative element appear quite live due to the punched background. This teardrops décor continues also on to the vaulted lid. In the middle of it and surrounded by teardrops is elevated and mounted a medallion with the engraved alliance coat of arms of two families. Above them the engraved initials “IAW” and “AM”. The two-part, curved ball type knob of the tankard has rich ornamental decorative motifs. A naked mermaid crowns the spherical thumb rest. The mermaid wears an elaborately braided updo and looks towards the coat of arms. Sea females of this species are at the end of the sixteenth century often used as crowning of the thumb rest. Above the center of the ball type knob is a feminine herm, which seems to grow from a plant ornament.

Tankards were initially used for liturgical uses and they were later integrated into profane uses, in particularly used as a vessel for beer. As beer was usually drunk warm, tankards have always a lid.
Tankards of this present type were common in late sixteenth century in Germany and England. They were decorated according to the latest fashion. Like other richly decorated silver objects they reflected the wealth of their owners and were often offered as gifts.

The richly décor around the medallion with the coat of arms, the use of the naked mermaid as well as the use of heart shapes in the decorative motifs of the tankard leave to assume that the tankard was most probably a wedding gift.
Coat of arms/Provenance: Coat of Arms on the lid possibly of the family von der Wede and family von Marchet.

Maker: Hans Pawell II was born during the last quarter of the sixteenth century. He was a goldsmith, jeweler and stonecutter. In August 1582, he received 130 Thalers from the Duke of Wolfenbüttel for having delivered him with cut stones.

Weight: 454 gr.

Date:  1590
Period:  1400-1600, 16th Century
Origin:  Germany, Brunswick
Medium: silver-gilt
Signature: City’s hallmark: an erected lion, directed heraldically to the right (Spies 1996, Nr. 1)
Maker’s mark: “HP” in round for Hans Pawell II (Spies 1996: I/147)
Engraving: Alliance coat of arms and monograms “IAW” and “AM”.

Dimensions: 15.2 cm (6 inches)
Categories: Silver