Antique German Silver Beaker


Stock: 10210

Date: Circa 1690

Maker: Ferrn Family

Country: Germany

An antique continental silver cup with charming decoration with scenes of cherubs drinking, dancing and fishing, interspersed between deeply chased...

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An antique continental silver cup with charming decoration with scenes of cherubs drinking, dancing and fishing, interspersed between deeply chased panels of embossed flowers and foliate scrolls. Gilt interior and exterior bands top and bottom.

Contains 300 ml.
Weight 110 grams, 3.53 troy ounces.
Height 9.3cm. Diameter 7.4cm (top) and 6.2cm (base). Height 9.3cm.
Made in Nurnberg, Germany
Maker Ferrn Family, their cups are known for having realistically chased and embossed flower decorations.
Circa 1690.
Silver grade 13 loth.

Marks. Stamped around the top with the town mark “N” for Nuremberg (Nurnberg), Germany, maker’s mark for Ferrn (Fern) and an assay scrape. Stamped underneath with the German silver grade “13” and an assay scrape.

German silver marks. Pre 1888 antique German silver was based on different town mark symbols and the silver fineness was indicated in “loth” (12 loth = 750/1000, 13 loth = 875/1000, 15 loth = 937/1000). In 1888 the “crescent moon and crown” marks were adopted together with the fineness of silver usually “800” = 800/1000. This system is still in use today.


This charming 17th century beaker is in very good condition with moderate signs of wear consistent with age. The beaker has been water tested and does not leak.

Maker Information

Maker: Ferrn Family

Ferrn (Fern) family of Goldsmiths working in Nurnberg, Germany during the 2nd half of the 17th century. The maker’s mark SB over F in heart shield was attributed to the Sigmund Bierfreund, see Exh. Cat. Wenzel Jamnitzer und die Núrnberger Goldschmiedekunst 1500-1700, Nuremberg, 1985, no 182. Mark Rosenberg attributed the maker’s mark to a member of the Fern family and made the comment: master of the tulip cups. Tulip-shaped standing cups and covers were particular popular in the third-quarter of the 17th century. Rosenberg recorded ten cups, all manufactured by the same master silversmith. The one illustrated in the Wenzel catalogue, is a present from the German poet Sigmund von Birken to the poets’ society of Nuremberg Pegnesischen Blumenorden, and is now part of the collection of Germanisches National Museum, Nuremburg. Remarkable is that most of the cups mentioned by Rosenberg were spotted by him in distinguished collections of Russian origins, P. A. Kostchubey, Petersburg; Hermitage; Heinrich Herzog, Rossatz; Wilh von Stumm, Petersburg; Patriarchen-Schatzkammer, Moscow; Fúrstin Menschikow, Baden-Baden and Fürst Jussupow, Petersburg. Similar cups were sold by Sotheby’s Geneva, 14th May 1985, lot 221; 14th May 1988, lot 169.

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