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Pokale, Goblets, and Chalices

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Imperial Shooting Pokal Prize (Item POKALS 1-1; HUNT 7-5)

DESCRIPTION: Here is one of the nicest little silver shooting goblets we have ever had the pleasure of owning. It’s a subject close to our hearts. We love these particular objects as no doubt the original winners and owners did. Of particular interest and value are the Schützenpokale for proficiency in the shooting sports. This was the major pastime of royals and landed gentry in the Kaiserzeit, or time of the German emperors in the Third Reich. It extended to the regular citizenry as well because of the efforts of such conservation-minded people such as Reichsmarschal and Master of the Hunt, Hermann Göring. The silversmiths of the Reich usually knocked themselves out in the production of these highly prized art pieces. This one is especially beautiful and highly chased and detailed. In the front-center panel is the national German eagle with the Hohenzollern eagle in the center of its chest. The crown of Prussia sits on its head. On the reverse side is the Munich Maid symbol surrounded by rifles, Jäger hat, target markers, etc. The sides and base are highly detailed with such depictions as grotesque faces, flora patterns, etc. The shield symbols of the various German states taking part in the shoot are also depicted. The name of this particular event is Siebentes Deutsches Bundes-Schiessen in München im Juli 1881 and this is found in raised form close to the top and midway around the body. The piece is numbered under the base and here is also found the maker and the required moon, crown, and ‘800’ silver designation. Without a doubt this is the finest and best we have ever encountered in this field. It measures 8 1/2 inches high with the opening being 4 inches wide. It’s in perfect condition throughout. The best of them are the delicate lightweight ones and this one fills the bill.

PRICE: $2,200.00; exceptional

 

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 Incredible Silver Chalice (Item POKALS 1-2; OLD 5-2)

DESCRIPTION: Yes, incredible: the mother of all chalices, goblets, Pokale, or whatever you will call it. This fantastic tribute to the art of early silversmiths is a museum piece extraordinaire standing almost 38 inches high. This is the tallest German Pokal that we have ever seen. The piece is most probably late 17th century and we just can’t get over the sheer beauty of it. The base shows hallmarks, but they are not clear. There are several, and one of them is a letter ‘N’ with what looks like a crown above it and a square punch with several dots inside; and both on the base and on the rim of the top you can perceive ‘840,’ the silver mark. This designation was shared in that era by both Germany and other continental nations, including Russia. ‘800’ is 80 percent silver and ‘840’ is even higher in fine-silver content. To completely describe this masterpiece of the silversmith’s art would take pages, but the main theme as you can see is the monumental battle scene, and what a scene; with spears being thrust, swords clanging against sword and shield, Roman Legion-looking soldiers, horses, dying men, hacking, thrusting, defending, attacking, etc. Below the battle landscape is a protrusion where among various armor, helmets, and weapons are depicted three fierce lions’ heads. Two of them still have rings in their angry jowls. Below this is another wreathed ring with griffon-style creatures that sit gargoyle style supporting the upper portion of the vessel. Below this is a section with bare-breasted, voluptuous maidens with wings that seem to stand guard over a grotesque creature whose face looks in fierce scowl and fanged caveat! Below this are three levels of plinth with seashell motif. On the bottommost extension of the base are engraved the words: “JOSHUA CONTRA AMMONITAS PROELIANTE.” Now this is a bit of a mystery since this vessel is German, without a doubt, and this legend is not written in German, but since a fantastic piece like this was in its day a treasure extraordinaire, it could have ended up in any land as a precious object d’art sold or traded. The writing to us looks added--probably a hundred years or so late--and our theory is that the unidentified battle must have been something only guessed at as to historic origin, and a silversmith, although wonderfully a master at his particular art, most likely was not likely also a historian. So the costumes of the battle participants would be done not so much accurately, but with much artistic license. We theorize that one of the owners in long past age probably thought that what he was seeing was indeed the biblical battle of Jericho, especially since in the background of the melee is seen a city with walls. Joshua fought in the Battle of Jericho and the (walls) came tumbling down. Seems only natural does it not? The lid is quite spectacular also with lots of floral splendor with its finial being a mounted knight in wonderful detail holding high the standard of his command. The mouth opening of the piece measures 9 1/2 inches in diameter. Incredibly, for its age, this “Pokal” is in excellent-plus condition with no apparent dings or dents. I believe everyone who owned it through all the years respected its fantastic beauty and importance and handled it with utmost care and gave it diligent, responsible stewardship. It certainly would be the item in any museum display that would capture the immediate attention of any history buff or true appreciator of the old metallic arts and it wouldn’t be something that you would only briefly examine. This is what would at least be a “10-minute stop” in the museum. We started this dissertation with the word ‘incredible.’ We end with this word, as well. Yes, this is almost an understatement, but in view of anything better at the moment, it will have to do. The consignor has priced this fantastic item far too low at $15,000 and he may change his mind in the near future. But, for now, we are very proud to offer this, the world’s best chalice: only the Grail might be a better find!

PRICE: SOLD

 

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 Fantastic German Fable Goblet (Item POKALS 1-3; OLD 5-7)

DESCRIPTION: For those whose passion includes collecting goblets or Pokale we now introduce you to the ultimate in this particular field of collecting. This one is practically breathtaking in its appearance and elegant quality. This vessel is without a moment’s doubt one of the greatest we have ever seen. One would at least expect to be viewing through glass in a ‘green room’ at Dresden or possibly the Museum for Folk Treasures in the old city of Nuremberg. This is a wonderful showpiece demonstrating the fantastic skills of mid-19th-century craftsmen in the German fatherland. The casting skills and silver adornment are especially noteworthy. At the middle of the piece are placed the bust portraits of two Grecian-looking gentlemen whom we think might be statesmen or writers who were instrumental in chronicling the fables of Aesop, the storyteller of ancient Greece, whose tales and fables survived the centuries. Many artistic features on this goblet are possibly attributable to Aesop’s fables: right from “The Fox and the Crane” on the finial, down to the reptiles and amphibians displayed on the cup’s base. All through the goblet’s motif you can observe various animals that would fit into the master storyteller’s sagas: wolves, dogs, sheep, rams. Go to Google and search for “Aesop’s Fables” and you will see the story about the fox and the crane and others that will include all of the animals shown on this piece. The “handles,” in lieu of a better word, are cast in the depiction of cherubs that seem to be gaily using the appendages as a swing. The front and back have scenes of wolves in various poses crafted in silver and placed within a forest environment. Note the great artistic style used in the placement of the monkeys’ tails. Somehow I believe that this might be a commemorative Pokal struck in honor of Aesop and his Grecian tales. The Pokal stands about 14 1/2 inches high and is about 6 1/2 inches wide not accounting for the handles. The condition is perfect throughout except for a nut that had to be replaced at the bottom (under the base). This was done to tighten it up since it had come loose after many years of handling. It is a treasure indeed and possible very historically important, as well. It’s quite heavy as it is crafted in solid gilted bronze. This could be featured in any good book of reference to European works of fine art. Spectacular!

PRICE: SOLD

 

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 Magnificent German-American Presentation Goblet. Wonderful, truly wonderful! (Item POKALS 1-3)

DESCRIPTION: This is one of the finest goblets historically, or in pure beauty of design, we have ever seen or acquired. It speaks of the German-Americans’ patriotic love and duty to his adopted American nation as well as his faith and devotion to his fatherland. His adoration of the United States and all it represents is spelled out here in this fantastic piece of the silversmith’s art that captures all the exuberance and excitement of honoring heritage along with patriotic fervor. On the obverse or reverse (depending on your view or perspective) is the finely engraved German imperial eagle with the banner reading “Stark in Recht,” (Strength in right!). On the other side is the American eagle bearing the shield of the nation with the words in a banner “E PLURIBUS UNUM,” which means “out of many-one.” It is interesting that these probably new immigrants got the words a bit backwards, however, the message is faithfully conveyed in heartfelt consideration and devotion. Germany and Germans always had a serious crush on America that was unfortunately curtailed by influences and mighty propaganda that were decidedly alien to Americans and Germans alike and resulted in two disastrous fratricidal wars between the two nations that were really “brother lands.” The presentation of this goblet was in 1910, 4 years before the Great War to destroy civilization began. It was presented by the central group of the German veterans’ and soldiers’ group of North America for service and devotion to the section of that organization in Frankfurt Am Main in fond memory of an event held that same year on 8 June 1910. This is all engraved on one of the side panels. On the opposite side is an engraved depiction of the city of Frankfurt Am Main with the magnificent cathedral in the center. The engraving is extraordinarily fine on all the panels. According to the marks on the bottom of the goblet it was made in the city of Posen and bears the registration no. of H-47000 and is clearly marked with the ‘800’ silver designation and the obligatory half moon and crown. At the top of the lid is a finial that has the Iron Cross representing Germany’s military identification (this is a veteran’s piece). On the other side of the circular oak-leaf wreath are the 13 stars for the original 13 American colonies in a star shape similar to the insignia on the back of a United States one-dollar bill. The overall height of the Pokal (goblet) is 17 inches, while the opening of the vessel is about 5 1/2 inches. The overall look of the décor on the goblet’s body and lid are of an art-nouveau pattern mixed with art deco. Both styles were prevalent in this time period. The whole form is artistically spectacular. Oak leaves, linden leaves, and other high-relief foliage are worked in artfully to give this wonderful museum-type offering its grand appearance. The magnitude of the historical significance is patently obvious.

PRICE: $ 2,950.00

 

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 Regal Goblet (Pokal) (Item POKALS 1-4)

DESCRIPTION: This is a beautiful goblet and employing both glass and German silver to present a central table decoration fit for the dining table of a king or at least a royal personage. The glass egg-shaped central bowl is crafted in hand-blown, amber-colored glass and is sealed in a beautiful framing of metal art at its finest. Here is a state-of-the-art masterpiece of Renaissance-themed art although it was probably produced during the Kaiser Reich of Wilhelm I or Wilhelm II, the Hohenzollern kings. This piece is so absolutely spectacular we just can't say enough about it! It defies the imagination for sheer Imperial beauty. At the top is a figural depiction of Gambrinus, the legendary king of Flanders and the patron saint of beer or beer brewing. One of Charlemagne's cup bearers was also named Gambrinus. In what is possibly the earliest known record of the name, the German poet Burkart Waldis mentioned Gambrinus in the year 1543, explaining that Gambrinus learned the art of brewing from Isis, the ancient Egyptian goddess of motherhood and fertility. It's obvious that despite all the rich ornamentation that abounds in the decoration of this wonderful vessel, it is, after all is said and done, a beer stein, and what else??? The brewing of fine beer is a much-celebrated art in Germany since time immemorial, and the amber color and the bowl section of the goblet or stein is the rich color of Bavarian beer, after all. The angelic figures interspersed with wood nymphs, who appear at three corners, are surrounded by floral designs all in high relief. The large vessel stands 22 1/2 inches high. In one of the pictures we have placed a familiar Pickelhaub helmet for the viewer’s size perspective. The bowl section in the middle is about 6 inches wide. The base is about 7 1/2 inches in diameter. The figure of Gambrinus is 3 inches high. The mouth opening is about 3 1/2 inches high (all the better to sip the glorious beer from). So whether you’re planning a royal banquet or just want to enjoy your Becks imported in a very regal manner, you need this piece of majestic tableware. Then of course you can enclose it in a lighted glass case and when placed at the center of your fine collection you'll be able to realize that practically no one has anything more excellent than this fine object d’art gracing their home.

PRICE: $ 3,650.00

 

Silver Goblet
Do not be fooled -- this is silver, not bronze.
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A Beautiful Pokal (Goblet) in Silver (Item POKALS 1-5)
DESCRIPTION: This is a silver pokal that is one of the most beautiful ones we have ever encountered. It certainly must be from one of the German stately mansions that were unfortunately looted by the Ivans, GI Joes, and Tommy Atkins, at the end of the war. Germany was looted from top to bottom and it seems a shame that these items even come up for sale today. They should all be in museums but unfortunately, we have to pay for them if only to save many of them from ending up melted for their silver content only to end up in an ingot bar, notwithstanding their greater value is as a relic of times more refined and grand. This particular Rococo design that is found on this pokal is very detailed and elaborate with excellent chasing. It is in pure silver although tarnished and between that fact and our poor lighting facility you might think it to be brass. It is not. This one is really worthy of museum display as a fitting tribute to master silver smithing. The base at one point is marked Storr and this must be the signature of the maker. There is another small mark elsewhere on the base which might be the silver mark but it isn’t clear. Storr appears actually twice. There are some letters engraved on the body of the goblet as well and seem to be M.W. but we don’t know whose initials they are. The piece stands 12 ½" high with an opening at the mouth of 4". A stunning example of late 19th century art work and will be the center piece of any good (realistic) art collection.

PRICE: $1,500.00

 

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 Gorgeous Shooting-Award Goblet in Silver (Item POKALS 1-6)

DESCRIPTION: Well, folks in the narrative above in Pokals 1-5 we said that that particular one was the finest and most beautiful one that we had ever encountered. Now, without, hesitation we have to announce that we have unexpectedly found one even more beautiful. Please read the narrative above in item POKALS 1-5 because the story is about the same except I would call the design and motif on this one decidedly Gothic. The maker of this piece spared no element of his mastery. They can’t possibly come better! It measures about 14 inches tall including the top cover. It is a shooting prize from 1865 and its inscribed “Ehrengabe Des Shützenvereins in Frankfurt Am Main Zum Deutschen Shützenfeste in Bremen 1865.” This means that the shooting society of Frankfurt A/M was presented this goblet in honor of its competition in the city of Bremen in 1865, the last year of the American Civil War. Whoops! Excuse me! I meant to say the war of “Yankee Aggression.” “We are in Georgia, you all!”

The Pokal

The piece is awesome; just dripping with floral and architectural relief as if it might have slipped out of the property of a medieval monarch. It is bearing the silver mark of “13” signifying the finest silver purity; it’s related to “800” silver. It’s absolutely amazing to us that there is nothing like a silversmith’s mark, but in those days a man’s work was often his signature when it came to producing a piece for royalty or wealthy landed gentry. So, dear collector, I would have to say that if a person wanted to start a collection and amazingly decided to have but one single piece in his collection, he practically couldn’t do better than owning this fantastic goblet (Pokal). Look over the images carefully; I guarantee you will never see a finer piece except possibly in a notable German museum.

PRICE: SOLD

 

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