Featured Stein: April 2014
~ An 18th Century Copper Flagon ~
By Drake Meinke

Featured this month is a very Large Copper Stein/Flagon 18" tall to the knob and 10" in diameter at the base. The flagon was made circa 1730-1767 and is of Nuremberg, German origin based upon the determination of three Copper Museums, one being from Arizona, and two from Europe.

This creative piece of artwork is in the repouseť style of metal work that makes the scene almost come to life. "Repouseť" is a way to give three-dimensional depth to metal by hammering the surface from the back side and then finishing on the front. The result of this process can be seen in the close up on the right.

The scene on one side depicts a lady sitting in a two wood wheeled carriage that is being pulled by tandem dogs with harness attachment and the sun rising in the background. A sitting dog is in the lead looking back at the procession, while a faun (satyr) leads the way, blowing a horn as to announce the lady's arrival. In the other side scene, another faun is holding a tambourine in one hand while a drinking horn in the other hand is receiving wine being poured from an elevated ewer.

Fauns are know to be lovers of wine and women so the scenes on this stein appear to show the beginning of a wild party. On the base of the stein is inscribed the name Stuarta Shirley. This most likely refers to Lady Stuarta Shirley (1711-1767), a woman who never married, but perhaps loved to party. The inscription on the base may be a sign of ownership, or perhaps the stein may have been given as a joke present to her implying that she was the woman on the stein going to one of her parties.

This beautiful stein and other copper steins and tankards can be seen at the Copper Art Museum in Clarkdale, Arizona. This newly opened museum, features copper art works from the United States and Europe with an emphasis on copper drink ware. The pictures in this article were provided courtesy of the Copper Art Museum.




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