(b. 1555, Nürnberg, d. 1608, Nürnberg)

Standing Cup and Cover

Silver, parcel gilt, partially enamelled, mother of pearl, emeralds, rubies, pearls, height 44 cm
Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna

Friedrich Hillebrandt was a German goldsmith and engraver, born into a Nuremberg family of goldsmiths and engravers. He became master in 1579. Nuremberg was long regarded as one of the most significant goldsmith centres in Germany, at times even one of the most important in Europe. The work of goldsmiths was much in demand for rulers' dinner tables and religious ceremonial objects. Today their creations can be found worldwide among collections of historical crafts in renowned museums, just as Nuremberg silver is highly valued by private collectors and within the international art trade.

This cup belonged to the gifts which the Princess Maria Anna of Bavaria received on the occasion of her marriage to Archduke and later Emperor Ferdinand II on 23 April 1600. The cup is created using a technique which was known in Europe primarily through the importation of goods from the Indian state of Gujarat. Because these imports passed through the great trading houses of Augsburg and Nuremberg, many goldsmiths in these centres adopted the technique.

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