An ice beaker

Cornelis Sperwer, Dordrecht, 1646 | Height 9,7 cm.

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An ice beaker

Of cylindrical section, the partially guilt beaker with matted surface, the body with two smooth medallions one of which contains a hitherto unidentified coat-of-arms, the smooth parts of the surface gilt.

Whereas the drinking vessels of the Renaissance were mainly prestigious, at the end of the 15th century a rather small but tall model gets into fashion, mainly for the drinking of beer of white wine. In many cities regional species were developed, such as the typical beakers of Groningen with the characteristic border of thorns above the base, the often much smaller beakers from Friesland, as well as the more bold models made in Rotterdam and Dordrecht.

That these beakers were mainly intended for profane use, can be detected from the engraved decorations on such vessels. After the Reformation religious vessels were only decorated in an abstemious manner.

The present type of ice beaker was mentioned in 17th-century inventories as beijd or geyst, and was manufactured in the Netherlands between 1640 and 1680. They were used for the drinking of cooled liquids such as beers of Rhine wine. The effect of a cooled drink in a glass was imitated by the roughened surface of the silver skin. An additional advantage of this rough skin was that it would not become slippery, when filled with a cooled drink. The earliest example of an ice beaker was also manufactured at Dordrecht, in 1642, by John Parker, who had originated from Warwickshire and was first mentioned there in 1637. This beaker is currently on loan the Museum Boijmans van Beuningen, Rotterdam. Next to these ice beakers we know of a few in miniature, often parcel-gilt; however, research made clear that those were only manufactured at Haarlem.

Cornelis Sperwer

Cornelis Jansz. Sperwer and Anneke Joostensdr. Doots (or de Doot) registered their intention to marry on 9 February 1642 and married on the 25th of that month. The couple had five children baptised of which four died in infancy. Sperwer was the brother-in-law of Cornelis De Doot, also a silversmith and drew up his will in October 1651. In 1653 he was involved in the sale of a piece of land in de Kleine Lindt and lived near de Pelserbrug. He was buried on 14 November 1655 and his widow remarried Jan Jansz. De Vries on the 25th April, 1660.

Private collection, The Netherlands

Hans Breet, De Dordtse Roos, Zilversmeedkunst in Dordrecht 1495-1807, Waanders, Zwolle 2022, p. 261, n° 335, the mark of the silversmith, p. 292, date letter A, for 1646, noted, this beaker (and cf. lit., p.125, the beaker by John Parker, p. 229. N° 277, the mark of John Parker)

Cornelis Sperwer, Dordrecht, 1646
Height 9,7 cm.

Ø 9,4 cm.

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