Description & Technical information
This large tankard is standing on a cylindrical, spreading, smooth foot, which is adorned with the coat of arms of the city of Courtrai. The body is decorated with 27 inserted coins arranged in three rows and depicting the portrait of Saint Lambert in profile, followed by an inscription and his name. Between the coins, artful acanthus leaves are embossed. Four more coins are inserted on the hinged lid and one in the bottom of the object. On the side of the tankard, there is an ear-shaped, cast handle. The thumb rest is formed as a large, silver-gilt ball.
With no doubt, the coins on this tankard are the most interesting feature of this object. Those are showing a thaler (so called patagon or patacon), which has been minted in the period of the vacancy of the episcopal seat (sede vacante) of the diocese of Liège in the year 1694 and which is relatively rare. The period of vacancy occurred in Februar 1694, when the prince-bishop John Louis of Elderen (1620-1694) died. His successor was the 23-years old Joseph Clemens of Bavaria (1671-1723), who became the 93rdprince-bishop of Liège in October 1694.
The coin shows on the front side the bust of Saint Lambert with mitre and liturgical dress on his shoulders. Around it the inscription: “S : LAMBERTVS ×PATRONVS ×LEOD :”. On the revers and in the middle, there is the coat of arms of the diocese of Liège: Bouillon, Franchimont, Looz, Hornes and the arms of Liège. Around these, a rosette with five leaves and the following inscription: “MONETA ×NOVA ×CAPLI × LEOD × SEDE ×VACANTE 16/94”.
Saint Lambert (ca. 636-ca. 700) was born in Maastricht and was a bishop of the city from ca. 670 until his death. Saint Lambert was besides the patron of Liège. The bishop Saint Hubert (ca. 656/8-727) had brought Lambert’s bones to Liège, when he transferred the bishop seat from Maastricht to Liège. The worship of Saint Lambert was also quite widespread in Cologne.
Coins of the vacancy if the episcopal seat appeared for the first time in Liege in 1688. This new coin occurred when Maximilian Henry of Bavaria (1621-1688) Archbishop-Elector of Cologne, Bishop of Hildesheim and Bishop of Liège died. Maximilian was one of the first Wittelsbacher who occupied the bishop’s seat of Liege. Ever since, in each interregnum, there were produced sede vacantecoins. This lead to a tradition of Liège, but also to a growing autonomy of the chapter (this is also suggested through the presence of ‘CAPLI’ on the coin).
In general, coins of sede vacantewere minted when the diocesan bishop seat was vacant: due to the death, resignation or transfer of the bishop or due to a loss of this office without the naming of a new bishop. Such coins were dealt as particular baroque art works on their own name.
The coins served as decorative elements on drinking vessels of the seventeenth and eighteenth century. They offered a luxurious representation and fulfilled the pretense of the baroque princes, rulers and other ordering customers to secular and clerical power. The coins reflected besides also contemporary events.
A tankard which is very close to the present one is a tankard in the collections of the Hessisches Landesmuseum in Kassel, which immortalizes an important event. This tankard, made of silver and partly-gilt, was made around 1679 and shows the Expulsion of the Swedish from Prussia during the Scanian War (1675-79), the so-called ‘Tankard of Brandenburg’.
The Production of the Tankard
The present tankard is not only an interesting object due to aesthetical, but also due to historical and cultural reasons. The inserted coins of the tankard have an origin which is distinct to Liège. The coat of arms on the foot has a connection to Courtrai.
With regards to the representative character of such pieces, one can suppose that the present tankard had been ordered by Maximilian II Emanuel, Elector of Bavaria (1662-1726) from the house of Wittelsbach. This tankard might have been an appropriate gift to offer to his younger brother Joseph Clemens.
Maximilian II was also the last governor of the Spanish Netherlands (1692-1706) as well as Margrave of Namur, Marquis Duke of Luxembourg, Brabant, Limburg and Guelders (1712-1714). His relatives from the House of Wittelsbach were also connected to Liège. Maximilian Henry of Bavaria was Prince-bishop of Liège from 1650 to 1688, while Joseph Clemens of Bavaria took up this title in 1694 with a confirmation of the office from the Pope Innocent XII and after difficult electoral disputes.
The two brothers, Max Emanuel and Joseph Clemens had formed an alliance during 1695-1723. Particularly, during the War of the Spanish Succession (1701-1714), they were on the side of the French and Spanish. Since the coronation of Joseph Clemens as prince-bishop of Liège, his brother had many occasions to offer such a gift to him. The highlight of the coronation in the life of Joseph Clemens offered on its own a very good reason for such a gift.
Besides that, the two brothers were active supporters of French and German artists. Their aesthetical criteria were in this sense influenced by different European, artistic tendencies and fashions.
The tankard’s order – an object of the German baroque ? is thus most probably connected to the history of the House of Wittelsbach and its links to the Diocese of Liège. The coat of arms of Courtrai may be explained through a later proprietor of the object.
Daniel Mänlich (or Männlich) the Elder was born in 1625 in Obersdorf, near Troppau (Silesia). He lived since 1650 in Berlin, where he also had his workshop. In 1655, he became goldsmith of the margrave of Brandenburg Frederick William (1620-1688) and since ca. 1676, he was active as court goldsmith. He died in 1701 in Berlin. The tomb of Daniel Männlich the Elder is in the St. Nicholas’ church (Nikolaikirche) in Berlin. Männlich has made a series of coin drinking vessels, particularly tankards. Together with the Berlin goldsmith Christian Lieberkühn (1669-1733), they were makers specialized in objects with coin decoration, who had experienced a high demand.
Period: 1600-1750, 17th century
Origin: Germany, Berlin
Medium: silver, Gilt, Parcel
Signature: City hallmark: a bear for Berlin ca. 1695 (Rosenberg nr. 1148; Scheffler nr. 4b)
Maker’s mark: monogram “DM” in a round shield for Daniel Män(n)lich the Elder (Rosenberg nr. 1171; Scheffler nr. 141)
Coat of arms: on the coins, of the diocese of Liège and engraved on the foot the coat of arms of Courtrai (Neubecker 1974: 48).
Dimensions: 25 cm (9⁷/₈ inches)
Literature: Neubecker, Ottfried, Wappenbilderlexikon: Dictionnaire héraldique = Encyclopaedia of heraldry, München: Battenberg, 1974.
DARIS, Joseph, Histoire du diocèse et de la principauté de Liège pendant le XVIIesiècle, t. II, Liège : Imprimerie et Lithographie Demarteau, 1877.
DENGIS, Jean-Luc, Les monnaies de la principauté de Liège. Volume III : De Gérard de Groesbeeck au rattachement à la France (1564-1794), Moneta : Wetteren, 2006.
HUYS, Jean-Philippe, ‘Deux mécènes de culture européenne en exil à l’aube du XVIIIe siècle. Les électeurs Maximilien II Emmanuel de Bavière et Joseph-Clément de Cologne, entre Pays-Bas méridionaux et royaume de France’, p. 155-169, dans MAËS, G. et BLANC, J., Institut de recherches historiques du Septentrion (éd.),Les échanges artistiques entre les anciens Pays-Bas et la France, 1482-1814. Actes du colloque international organisé par l’Institut de recherches historiques du Septentrion ? UMR CNRS 8529 ? Université de Lille 3 au Palais des Beaux-arts de Lille les 28-29-30 mai 2008, Brepols : Turnhout, 2010.
KEISCH, Christiane, Das große Silberbuffet aus dem Rittersaal des Berliner Schlosses, Kunstgewerbemuseum: SMPK, 1997.
PECHSTEIN, Klaus, ‘Münzgefäße‘ p. 205-219 In: Germanisches Nationalmuseum (éd.), Münzen in Brauch und Aberglauben. Schmück und Dekor – Votiv und Amulett – Politische und religiöse Selbstdarstellung, mit 342 Schwarzweiß-Abbildungen und 24 Farb-Tafeln, Mainz am Rhein: Verlag Philipp von Zabern, 1982.
SCHEFFLER, Wolfgang, Berliner Goldschmiede : Daten, Werke, Zeichen, Berlin : Hessling, 1968.
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