HK0476_385_7

Shell shaped dish, Ottavio Miseroni (stone cutter),  Prague, 1605-1610. Rock crystal, gold, enamel. 110.5 x 16.5 x 10.6 cm, base 6.7 x 5.0 cm. V 319. Green Vault © Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden 2013

The abstracting imitation of a shell-shaped natural wonder succeeded in this fascinating way to ornamental pot and put virtuosic abilities in advance Crystal Cut: The vessel form was after the first honed their relatively thick wall. In further steps, small pointed teeth were cut out piece by piece from the surface before the shell was given its final shape. This elaborate processing technique in which you took a significant loss on the cut precious natural material into buying, led to a terrific outcome, because the shell is very thin and therefore very easily be ground. What was needed complicated grinding work, gives the impression as if it were molded with a light touch of wax. The cup to the far nothing comparable could be found in the large rock crystal collections in Paris, Madrid and Munich, is a fragile masterpieces of "arte Grossa". However, the sum of its stylistic features refers to the "soft" style, which determined the glyptic of Ottavio Miseroni (around 1568-1624) in the years 1600-1612.Ottavio Miseroni worked at the court of Emperor Rudolf II in Prague since 1588 and primarily manufactured vessels of jasper, agate, jade or heliotrope. Therein lay his strength. It is certain that he has not nearly rock crystal modified in such a large scale as the Miseroni active in Milan. Therefore, the knowledge of the rock crystal vessels this stone cutter which also temporarily employed young Crystal Schneider from Milan in his Prague workshop, still not enough and uncertain in many ways.Rudolf Distelberger (1978), however, suspected in two dainty bowls of rock crystal in Vienna (Kunsthistorisches Museum, Art Chamber) also works by Ottavio Miseronis Prague. These are just soft not to be confused in the modeling and in appearance with Milan pieces.