Description & Technical information

The present beaker is a fine example of Strasbourg silver in Régence style. On a round, multi-levelled and slightly arched foot rises the tulip-shaped corpus with a wide rim. The foot is decorated with a vertical frieze of gadroons.
The exterior surface is left smooth and engraved only at the upper edge of the beaker. Alternating are engraved large, expansive and small elements of a strap work frieze with acanthus leaves and stylized flowers as well as shells. At the top towards the rim, this decoration closes with two narrow rings.

The beaker is entirely gilt; Also at the bottom, as it is typical for French objects. Overall, it should also be mentioned that the Vermeil is in good condition. In the Strasbourg musée des arts décoratifs very similar beakers have been preserved (s. Les Musées de Strasbourg 2004, p. 55-57).

Strasbourg and its silversmiths
The history of the silversmiths in Strasbourg goes back to the fourteenth century. In the eighteenth century, the Strasbourg goldsmiths experienced their heyday. The new administrators who came to the city since 1681 (high officials, governors of the provinces, German princes with property in Alsace), the catholic clergy and the returned bishop provided the gold- and silversmiths with important orders. Thus, they could supply again enough luxurious objects to the new Patrons. The fashion in silver in Strasbourg at that time was based on the ?manières françaises? and no longer on the German silversmith cities of Nuremberg and Augsburg. Since the end of the seventeenth century, the Strasbourg masters were also authorized to produce silverware in the name of the King of France.
Because of the excellent quality of the Strasbourg gilding (vermeil) and its resistance to oxidation, the Vermeil from Strasbourg gained international importance. In addition to that, toll fees were not charged for exported objects, which meant that the German courts, which were now oriented towards French fashion, also bought silver from Strasbourg.

Maker: Jean-Jacques Ehrlen, son of a pastor, was born in 1700 and became master in 1728. In the same year, he married the daughter of the coppersmith J.J. Ringler. His daughter married the goldsmith Jean-Christian Zahrt, who after the death of Ehrlens in 1781 took over his workshop. According to Seling (1992), Jean-Jacques Ehrlen is one of the most important Strasbourg masters in the eighteenth century. Two goblets of magistrate of the master with very similar decor are preserved in the musée des arts décoratifs of Strasbourg (s. Les Musées de Strasbourg 2004, p. 56 and 58).

Weight: 170 gr.
Height: 9,9 cm (3,89 in.); Dia. (Rim): 8 cm (3.14 in.); Dia. (Bottom): 5 cm (1,96 in.); 

Date:  1725-1731
Period:  1600-1750, 18th century
Origin:  France, Strasbourg
Medium: silver-gilt
Signature: City’s hallmark: In a shield an oblique „13“ (the fineness number), crowned by a Fleur-de-lys for silver from Strasbourg since 1728 (Rosenberg (4), p. 316, No. 6917)

Maker’s Mark: In a quatrefoil on two rows „EHR/LEN“ for Johann Jacob Ehrlen (Haug 1978, Table III).


Dimensions: 9.9 x 8 cm (3⁷/₈ x 3¹/₈ inches)
Literature: Marc Rosenberg: Der Goldschmiede Merkzeichen (Band 4): Ausland und Byzanz, Frankfurt am Main 1928 (http://digi.ub.uni-heidelberg.de/diglit/rosenberg1928bd4, last call on 05/03/2017).
Helmut Seling: Goldschmiedekunst deutscher Städte: Straßburg. In: Klaus Pechstein und et Al.: Schätze deutscher Goldschmiedekunst von 1500 bis 1920. Aus dem Germanischen Nationalmuseum, Berlin 1992, p. 142-145.
István Heller (Hg): Europäische Goldschmiedearbeiten 1560 ? 1860. [anlässlich der Ausstellung "Europäische Goldschmiedearbeiten 1560  1860" Couven-Museum, Aachen 15. Februar bis 18. Mai 2003], München 2003.
Hans Haug: L' orfèvrerie de Strasbourg dans les collections publiques françaises (= Inventaire des collections publiques françaises / Inventaire des collections publiques françaises, 22), Paris 1978.
Les Musées de Strasbourg: Deux siècles d'orfèvrerie à Strasbourg XVIIIe ' XIXe siècles dans les collections du Musée des Arts décoratifs ; [ce catalogue á été publié à l'occasion de l'ouverture des nouvelles salles du Musée des Arts Décoratifs de Strasbourg le 26 novembre 2004], [Strasbourg] 2004.

Categories: Silver