About this artwork
During the Age of Discovery, European artists were inspired by the exotic materials suddenly available to them. Goldsmiths seized on the opportunity to include wondrous and seemingly magical materials—including coconuts (see the Coconut Cup), ivory, ostrich eggs, and, in this case, a nautilus shell from the Indian Ocean—into works of art that celebrated both nature and artifice. These types of object were also popular with collectors during the 19th century, when the mounts on this cup were reworked.
- Nautilus-Shell Cup
- Nautilus-shell cup and silver gilt
- H: 25.7 cm (10 1/8 in.)
- Kate S. Buckingham Endowment