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Bringing the wider world to a princely court

Attributed to David Heschler (1611-67)

Cup and cover c.1660

Silver gilt and ivory | 55.5 x 14.8 x 14.8 cm | RCIN 51540

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Master: Cup and cover

Detail of Romulus and Remus on the lid ©

This cup was bought by George IV from Rundell, Bridge & Rundell in 1825 in the belief that it was the work of Lucas Fayd'herbe (1617–97), a pupil of Rubens, and that it had belonged to Rubens himself. It was sold with a turntable and glass shade for display. The iconography relates to the mythic history of Rome, with the small figures of Romulus and Remus, founders of the city, on the lid.

George IV appears to have had an especial fondness for ivory works – collecting 14 ivory tankards and other works inset with ivory plaques. The fashion for collecting carved ivories had been particularly prevalent in southern Germany, Bohemia and Austria in the seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries. The Kunstkammer of Dresden, Prague and Vienna contained numerous turned and carved objects of ivory.