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Coconut Cup with Scenes from the Life of David

A work made of silver gilt and coconut shell.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of silver gilt and coconut shell.


Shell: 17th century replacement


English or Netherlandish

About this artwork

Coconuts, a precious curio from the New World, were so highly prized in Europe during the early modern era that they were fashioned into elegant vessels by silversmiths. They made noteworthy additions to princely curiosity cabinets and may also have served a medicinal purpose. John Parkinson’s Theatrum Botanicum (1640), for instance, credits wine drunk from a coconut with curing colic, epilepsy, and rheumatoid disorders.


Currently Off View


Applied Arts of Europe


Coconut Cup with Scenes from the Life of David


London (Object made in)

Date  Dates are not always precisely known, but the Art Institute strives to present this information as consistently and legibly as possible. Dates may be represented as a range that spans decades, centuries, dynasties, or periods and may include qualifiers such as c. (circa) or BCE.



Silver gilt and coconut shell


22.9 × 11.2 × 11.6 cm (9 × 4 3/8 × 4 9/16 in.)

Credit Line

Gift of Mrs. Stanley Keith

Reference Number


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Extended information about this artwork

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