Lot 7. Covered cup with a globe and a stem in the form of a Turk, Zick Workshop, Southern German, Nuremberg, second half 17th century; 49cm., 9¾in. Estimate 80,000 — 120,000 GBP. Lot sold 100,000 GBP. Photo: Sotheby's

turned ivory, the figurative stem with inlaid metal eyes.

Exhibited: Brussels, Musée de la Maison d'Erasme, Anatomie des Vanités, 2008

Literature: A. Vanautgaerden (ed.), Anatomie des Vanités, exh. cat., Musée Maison d'Erasme, Brussels, 2008, p. 88

NoteA related turned cup supported by a stem in the form of a Turk, ascribed to the Zick Workshop, is in the Danish Royal Kunstkammer Copenhagen (Gundestrup, op. cit., p. 265, no. 23/89) and two ivory handles for utensils, also in the distinctive form of a Turk, are in the Historisches Museum, Frankfurt am Main (Philippovich, op. cit.,  fig. 370) also by the Zick family. 


Ivory goblet with bell, Nuremburg workshop, circa 1660, Royal Danish Kunstkammer, Copenhagen (DKK 23.89)

Turning was considered a noble hobby, and many gentlemen and kings worked lathes as a leisure activity. Lorenz Zick, the son of the turner Peter Zick, and grandson of the turner Martin Zick, was the most accomplished of the three brothers who all took up the family craft.  He was called to Vienna in 1642-4 to instruct Emperor Ferdinand III and was appointed Kammerdrechsler of the imperial court. Peter Zick was the teacher of Emperor Rudolph II in Prague. 

Concentric spheres with turned rays issuing from the circular apertures on the outer form, like the ones seen on the finial on this cup, were some of the most challenging and highly praised feats of the virtuoso turner.

RELATED LITERATURE: K. Maurice, Sovereigns as Turners, Zurich, 1985; E. v. Philippovich, Elfenbein, Munich, 1982, p. 420, fig. 370 and p. 426, fig. 378; B. Gundestrup, Det kongelige danske kunstkammer 1737, Copenhagen, 1991, pp. 261-262, DKK 23.89

Sotheby's. Treasures, London, 05 Jul 2017