A German Silver-Gilt Drinking Vessel In The Form of a Horse. Mark of Christoph Mueller, Breslau, circa 1700. Photo Christie's Image Ltd 2012
Realistically modeled, with detachable head, the base cast and chased with foliage, insects and turtles, marked on base and on cover bezel; 7¾ in. (19.7 cm.) high; 20 oz. 10 dwt. (649 gr.). Estimate $30,000 - $50,000
Provenance: The Ludwig Cahn-Speyer Collection, Vienna (before 1906)
with J. Boehler, Munich
Rita da Costa Lydig, New York, sold
The American Art Association, New York, 1-3 April, 1913, lot 23
Martin Birnbaum (1878-1970), New York, thence by descent to the present owner
Literature: Erwin Hintze, Die Breslauer Goldschmiede, 1906, p. 121, recorded in the Cahn-Speyer Collection, Vienna.
Notes: Similar horse-form drinking vessels in silver and silver-gilt are found in the collections of the Landesmuseum Zürich and the Germanisches Nationalmuseum. See Alain Gruber, Weltlisches Silber: Katalog der Sammlung des Schweizerischen Landesmuseums Zürich, 1977, p. 180, no. 263, and Klaus Pechstein, Deutsche Goldschmiedekunst vom 15. bis 20. Jahrhundert aus dem Germanischen Nationalmuseum, 1987, p. 123, no. 29.
A very similar German horse-form drinking vessel sold Christie's, London, 19 November 2009, lot 17.
Rita Lydig (1875-1929) was an American socialite and collector. She lived in New York, London, and Paris, where she moved in artistic and intellectual circles and counted Sargent, Degas, Rodin, Tolstoy, Bernhardt, and Debussy among her friends.
Christie's. Important Silver and Objects of Vertu. 19 October 2012. New York, Rockefeller Plaza