Salzburg 18th century
 
  A SILVER-GILT MOUNTED IBEX HORN TANKARD

A rare alpine ibex horn carved overall in relief depicting scenes of ibex hunt.
Salzburg 18th century
Circle of Martin Gizl (Austrian, 1707–1786)
h. 16 cm.

Worth its weight in gold, Alpine Ibex horn was prized for its purported ability to prevent poisoning as well as its aphrodisiac properties. The hunting of the Alpine Ibex, an endangered wild goat species, was restricted to the prince-archbishops of Salzburg; artworks made of Alpine Ibex horn were sent to foreign courts as diplomatic gifts. The manipulation of this delicate material represents man’s conquest over nature and depictions of the hunt as a courtly pastime dominate the decoration. The patron of the set, Count Philipp Carl von Seinsheim, was a nephew of four bishops of the Schönborn dynasty, the main art patrons of Franconia and the Rhineland in the 18th century.
 
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