Drinking Vessels

Drinking vessels for use at table or elsewhere occupy an important place alongside the other tableware in the Ximenez-da Vega inventory. The most important item in this category is the "kop" or cup, a tall and slim drinking vessel with its own lid, usually reserved for ceremonial drinking. The weight of the embossed cups listed in the inventory varies from between around 1800 grams, an exceptionally large item presumably of Antwerp provenance, and about 375 grams. The latter weight refers to two German cups that may have come from Nuremberg, a center for goldsmithing in Southern Germany that is known to have exported cups of various shapes and sizes to the southern Netherlands; evidence for their presence is found in several Antwerp inventories as well as Antwerp still life paintings.

There were also various other vessels for drinking wine, which although simpler in design were similarly quite heavy (from 260 to 1050 grams). While their shapes are impossible to reconstruct, the terms "pot" or "wynpot," as well as "suypercroes" – literally a "guzzling cup" – presumably refer to large beakers, while the "pint" would have been a tall, slim beaker. The inventory's smallest drinking vessels, weighing just around 120 grams each, are the "bekerkens" or small beakers. That the Ximenez-Da Vega household, unlike others described in Antwerp inventories, had just two examples of such a very small drinking vessel is remarkable.

In addition to drinking vessels, the household possessed large vessels for serving wine, including one very large bottle or flask weighing 3.2 kilograms. This was probably shaped like a traditional 'pilgrim bottle' and would have made an impressive display item on the buffet.

Lorenz Seelig, Bayerisches Nationalmuseum (retired), Munich


Claessens-Peré, Anne-Marie, ed. Zilver voor Sir Anthony. Exh. cat., Provinciaal Museum Sterckshof/Zilvercentrum, Antwerp. Gent: Snoeck, Ducaju & Zoon, 1999. 19-20.

Baatsen, Inneke, and Bruno Blondé. "Zilver in Antwerpen. Drie eeuwen particulier zilverbezit in context." Zilver in Antwerpen. De handel, het ambacht en de klant. Ed. Leo De Ren. Leuven: Peters, 2011. 106, 109, graph 8.