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Cup or pouring vessel: M.27-1933

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Object information

Current Location: Gallery 32 (Rothschild)


Cup or pouring vessel


Maker: Pfaff, Nikolaus (Possibly)
Maker: uncertain (Possibly)




Carved and polished ivory

Ivory, carved and polished. In the form of an wide-mouthed shell with one side higher than the other, and its narrow lower end resting on the back of a rabbit crouching on a flat almost circular base. Over the top of the higher side is a narrow grotesque owl mask with curling ear tufts, and long flaps extending over the sides, which creates a mouth-like pouring lip. Below it is a long leaf which extends over shell-like lobes until it meets the back of the rabbit. Below the rim on the opposite side there is a grotesque male mask with a beard n the form of serrated leaf, with on each side two more serrated acanthus leaves overlapping each other.


History note: Uncertain before donor

Legal notes

Given by Alfred A. de Pass

Measurements and weight

Height: 12.2 cm
Width: 9 cm

Relative size of this object

9 cm12.2 cm What does this represent?

Relative size of this object is displayed using code inspired by Good Form and Spectacle's work on the British Museum's Waddeson Bequest website and their dimension drawer. They chose a tennis ball to represent a universally sized object, from which you could envisage the size of an object.

Place(s) associated

  • Prague

Acquisition and important dates

Method of acquisition: Given (1933) by de Pass, Alfred A.


Early 17th Century
Circa 1600 CE - Circa 1610 CE


Possibly made in Prague, by Nikolaus Pfaff (1556 (?) - before 1612) c.1600-10. Previously considered to be by a member of the van Vianen family.

School or Style


Components of the work

Decoration composed of ivory
Base Width 4.3 cm

Techniques used in production

Carving : Carved and polished ivory

Inscription or legends present

Inscription present: oval paper label with a narrow black line around the edge enclosing the wording

  • Location: On base
  • Method of creation: Printed in black
  • Type: Label

References and bibliographic entries

Related exhibitions

Identification numbers

Accession number: M.27-1933
Primary reference Number: 31820
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Wednesday 27 January 2021 Last processed: Thursday 8 April 2021

Associated departments & institutions

Owner or interested party: The Fitzwilliam Museum
Associated department: Applied Arts

Citation for print

This record can be cited in the Harvard Bibliographic style using the text below:

The Fitzwilliam Museum (2023) "Cup or pouring vessel" Web page available at: Accessed: 2023-02-08 08:48:42

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{{cite web|url= |title=Cup or pouring vessel |author=The Fitzwilliam Museum|accessdate=2023-02-08 08:48:42|publisher=The University of Cambridge}}

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