Jumping unicorn, Hans Reisinger, founder, Augsburg, before 1589. Brass, wooden base. H with base 47.1 cm, H base 10.4 cm, W 42.6 cm, D 18.0 cm. Green Vault, IX 51 © Dresden State Art Collections.

Since Babylonian antiquity, the mythical unicorn wanders through the imagination of mankind. His horn supposedly had mysterious powers and made any poison ineffective. Later legends report that it could only be captured by a virgin, or that it could only find peace in the womb of a maiden. In 1589 Elector Christian I of Saxony acquired this statuette from the Augsburg-based foundry and well-builder Hans Reisinger; the modeller of the animated mythical creature is unknown.