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Two-Handled Cup and Cover

Charles Frederick Kandler, English (born Germany), active c.1735, died 1778
Made in
London, Greater London, England, Europe
Current Location
Gallery 122
cup and lid: 16 7/8 x 14 x 7 in. (42.9 x 35.6 x 17.8 cm)
weight: 12 lb. (5.4 kg)
Credit Line
Gift of Morton J. May
Public Domain
Object Number
Covered with rich embellishments, including cherubs, grapevines, goats, bees, and shells, this opulent object was intended for ceremonial display. Its decoration celebrates Bacchus, the ancient Roman god of wine. The sheer exuberance of the forms, most notable in the arching figures that almost break free of the cup’s surface, exemplifies the joyous revelry of 18th-century Rococo art. This lavish cup and cover were cast in silver and then finished by adding texture to the grape leaves, the goats’ fur, and the other ornamentation. Although based on forms in the everyday world, the final ensemble is definitely not something found in nature.
1749/50 - still in 1921
Henry Flower (d.1752), 2nd Baron (later 1st Viscount Ashbrook) of Castle Durrow, Queen's County, Ireland, and his descendants; commissioned from Charles Frederick Kandler [1]

Offered at auction, "Old English, Irish, and Scotch Silver . . . gathered from the collections of Lord Ashbrook . . , " Anderson Galleries, New York, NY, USA, December 15-17, 1921, lot no. 613 [2]

by 1945 -
W. G. Drosten, Drosten Jewelry Store, St. Louis, MO [3]

by 1951 -
Erich S. Petzall (1891-1972), St. Louis, MO, USA [4]

- 1952
Morton J. May (1881-1968), St. Louis, MO, acquired from Erich S. Petzall [5]

1952 -
Saint Louis Art Museum, gift from Morton J. May [6]

[1] Evidence supporting the family attribution, based on the coat of arms on the cup, is provided in a letter from Arthur Grimwade, Christie, Manson & Wood, London, dated December 13 and 14, 1972 [SLAM document files]. Also see Note [2].

[2] The auction featured a large number of objects from at least five Irish collections, including that of Lord Ashbrook, of Castle Durrow, Queen's County, Ireland ["Old English, Irish and Scotch Silver, Old Sheffield Plate and other art objects gathered from the collections of Lord Ashbrook, Lady Ardilaun, Earl of Mayo, Lord Fermoy, Lady Coote, etc., etc.," Anderson Galleries, New York, December 15-17, 1921, lot no. 613]. The objects were "brought to America by a prominent Irish connoisseur," suggesting that this individual was not the owner, but acting as a courier/agent on behalf of this group of Irish collectors. The catalogue entry for lot no. 613 clearly identifies it as 252:1952a,b, the cup commissioned by Lord Ashbrooke in London, by Frederick "Kondler," "from the the Lord Ashbrooke Coll." The illustration of the cup is mislabeled, with a caption that reads "Old English silver montieth bowl, London, 1697 [584]." The illustration of the montieth bears the caption with the information for lot no. 613, reading "Important English silver loving cup, London, 1749, from the Lord Ashbrooke Collection [613]."

[3] W. G. Drosten, of Drosten Jewelry Store, St. Louis, Missouri, researched the piece, specifically Henry Flower, in 1945 [letter from Anne W. Ross, St. Louis Public Library, to W. G. Drosten, Drosten Jewelry Co., dated March 27, 1945, SLAM document files], suggesting that he was in possession of the piece at this time. A small typed card, possibly used as a label in a display, notes that the "cup was sent out of Ireland for safety during the disturbances about fifteen years ago," perhaps referring to the depression following the First World War [SLAM document files]. In March 1952, in response to a request from the Museum, Leo T. Kappel, Vice President of the Drosten Jewelry Store, provided a written appraisal value for 252:1952a,b, in which he states that the cup "was in the possession of the late W. G. Drosten at one time." [letter from Leo T. Kappel, Drosten Jewelry Store, to Thomas T. Hoopes, Museum curator, dated March 19, 1952, SLAM document files].

[4] Erich S. Petzall is listed as a previous owner on the Museum's original Accession Record, although the precise period of ownership is unknown. Petzall may have purchased the cup from the Drosten Jewelry Co. some time in the mid-1940s, around the time Drosten was researching the history of the cup [see Note [3]]. In July 1951 the object was delivered to the Museum for examination and/or loan (records state both), "from E. Petzall, c/o Drosten Jewelry Co." [Registrar Log, entry no. 6658, Saint Louis Art Museum; Registrar's Entry Record, July 30, 1951, SLAM document files].

[5] Erich S. Petzall worked for the May Company, as Morton J. May's assistant [telephone interview with Gerhard J. Petzall, December 18, 2003; notes in SLAM document files]. The exact nature of the transaction between Petzall and May is unknown.

[6] Minutes of the Administrative Board of Control of the City Art Museum, October 10, 1952.
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