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koopman rare art

An Austro- Hungarian Beaker

Silver and Silver Gilt
Circa 1655
9.3 cm, 3.6 in.
Weight 116 g, 3.73 oz


The scenes engraved on the surface of the beaker are derived from a popular essay compiled by Diego Saavedra Fajardo, Idea de un príncipe político cristiano representada en cien empresas, first published in 1640.

Fajardo was a Spanish diplomat who played an essential role in the treaty of Westfalia. In his life he travelled the most influential courts of Europe on a mission to defend the Spanish monarchy through a very troubled historical period.  When the first edition of his book appeared, the Spanish Empire was in critical moment, as both Catalonia and Portugal witnessed insurrections for independence.

Diego Saavedra Fajardo excelled in the delicate art of political negotiation and gathers his wise advices in a series of indications to rulers. Each recommendation is illustrated with a didactical engraving whose iconography became so popular that in the first half of the 18th Century a number were chosen to decorate the State Rooms of the Eggenberg Palace in Austria.

An Austro- Hungarian Beaker Reference: DT21.21.1