H. 20, 5 cm (8 in.)
Princely and then Ducal Hatzfeld collection, castle of Trachenberg, Silesia
Meyer‑Heisig (Erich), Der Nürnberger Glasschnitt des 17. Jahrhunderts,
1963, pp.39‑41, WT36 & WT39
Rock crystal carving, considered by the Ancient as petrified water, an art form that was highly prized in Antiquity, enjoyed a renaissance in Europe particularly between the 14th and 17th century. The beauty of this remarkably hard material lies in its transparency and only the most skillful artists managed to sculpt it.
The great collectors of the Renaissance had to have mounted rock crystal objects for their cabinets of curiosities. The delicate engraving is in the style of Georg Schwanhardt, Nuremberg’s finest glass and rock crystal engraver, and research reveals an active correspondence between the latter and the Hatzfeld family.