Department of Decorative Arts: 17th century
"Anne of Austria" goblet
© 1994 RMN / Daniel Arnaudet
This gold goblet has an extremely refined decoration of very realistic flowers. From the 18th to the 20th century, it was in the Château de Liancourt, as the inscription engraved on the underside of the foot indicates. It is thought that Anne of Austria (1601-1666) gave the goblet to one of her ladies-in-waiting, whose descendants later owned the château. The goblet is a remarkable example of the gold tableware prized by 17th-century monarchs.
A royal past
The only clue to the goblet's royal past is the inscription on the underside of the foot, which indicates that it once belonged to Anne of Austria. The name Liancourt, part of the same inscription, refers to a chateau in Picardy, which belonged to the Lescalopier family. Gaspard-César-Charles Lescalopier (1706-1792) was a Councilor of State and the great-grand-nephew of Anne de Bouesset (c. 1620-1701), who was the goddaughter and lady-in-waiting of Anne of Austria. In fact, she was one of twelve ladies-in-waiting who served Anne in 1653. It was customary for monarchs to give members of their retinue personal items as gifts. It is likely that the queen gave Anne de Bouesset this goblet, which is how it came to be in Liancourt.
A goblet adorned with flowers
The tulip-shaped goblet stands on a slender base. The decoration consists of fifteen twisted gadroons separated by thin ribs. Each gadroon is engraved with rinceaux of foliage decorated with various types of flowers, including tulips, sunflowers, violets, and narcissi. The base is ornamented with an acanthus frieze. The very realistic motifs are typical of the 1650s and 1660s.
The work of a Parisian goldsmith
Anne of Austira's goblet does not have a 17th-century hallmark, which means that the work is anonymous. However, other similarly decorated examples by Parisian goldsmiths have been identified. Comparable motifs are to be found on candlesticks made by the goldsmith Robert Colombe in 1669-70 for Mary, Queen of Scots, now in the Duke of Devonshire's collection in Chatsworth House. The candlesticks, made in Paris, have similar rinceaux of tulips and other flowers. It can safely be said that the Louvre's goblet was made in Paris, probably by one of the goldsmiths working in the Louvre workshops for the crown.
BibliographyBimbenet-Privat M., Les Orfèvres et l'orfèvrerie de Paris au XVIIe siècle, t.II les oeuvres, Paris, 2002, p.200-201.
Exposition Un temps d'exubérance, les arts décoratifs sous Louis XIII et Anne d'Autriche, Paris, RMN, 2002, p.269.
France (mid-17th century)
"Anne of Austria" goblet
H. 9.60 cm; Diam. 7 cm
Anne Gabory, god-daughter and chambermaid of Anne of Austria; Gaspard-César-Charles Lescalopier, Château de Liancourt (Somme); Puiforcat collection; gift of Stavros S. Niarchos, 1955 , 1955
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