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Goldsmith’s Art

Griffin goblet of the Zunft zu Webern (weavers' guild)

Key data

Philipp Jacob Drentwett IV, Augsburg, 1708 10; Silver, cast, embossed, chased, engraved, parcel gilt

height 45.6 cm, diameters of base 30 x 24.6 cm

Inv. 1887.3.


Among the emblematic table decorations of the Basle guilds and corporations this griffin with the weavers' yardstick in its claws, the heraldic animal of the weavers' guild, is an exception, having been made in Augsburg rather than by one of the capable local Basle goldsmiths. At the time when it was made, Augsburg was the foremost center for goldsmiths' work and had around 200 master craftsmen. It is known that one of the donors, Johann Lucas Iselin, had contacts with the Gullmann silver business there. The drinking vessel, weighing 4.688 kg, has the surprisingly small capacity of 0.35 1. The coats of arms, names and guild titles of the officers of the guild who were serving in 1710 are shown on the 16 cartouches screwed to the dome of the foot. The inscription around the rim of the base commemorates the donor of the goblet, "Einer Ehren Zunft zu den Leinwattern and Wabern haben disz Geschirr verehrt Iohann Heinrich Sarasin, Hansz Lux Iselin and Niklaus Heueszler als die drey iungst erwehlte Sechsere Anno 1710" (This drinking vessel was given to the honourable guild of linen weavers and wool weavers by Johann Heinrich Sarasin, Hans Lux Iselin, and Niklaus Heusler as newly elected officers of the guild in the year 1710.)

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