Automaton in form of huntsman and dog. Parcel-gilt, chased. Attached to ungilded domed oval base decorated with sprigs of plants and lizards, all probably cast from life. Head detachable underneath neck ruff for use as drinking vessel. Huntsman wears tall

Museum number

WB.134

Description

Full: Front

Automaton in form of huntsman and dog. Parcel-gilt, chased. Attached to ungilded domed oval base decorated with sprigs of plants and lizards, all probably cast from life. Head detachable underneath neck ruff for use as drinking vessel. Huntsman wears tall

© The Trustees of the British Museum

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  • Automaton in form of huntsman and dog. Parcel-gilt, chased. Attached to ungilded domed oval base decorated with sprigs of plants and lizards, all probably cast from life. Head detachable underneath neck ruff for use as drinking vessel. Huntsman wears tall

    Full: Front

  • Automaton in form of huntsman and dog. Parcel-gilt, chased. Attached to ungilded domed oval base decorated with sprigs of plants and lizards, all probably cast from life. Head detachable underneath neck ruff for use as drinking vessel. Huntsman wears tall

    Full: Back

  • Automaton in form of huntsman and dog. Parcel-gilt, chased. Attached to ungilded domed oval base decorated with sprigs of plants and lizards, all probably cast from life. Head detachable underneath neck ruff for use as drinking vessel. Huntsman wears tall

    Detail: Other

  • Automaton in form of huntsman and dog. Parcel-gilt, chased. Attached to ungilded domed oval base decorated with sprigs of plants and lizards, all probably cast from life. Head detachable underneath neck ruff for use as drinking vessel. Huntsman wears tall

    Detail: Other

  • Automaton in form of huntsman and dog. Parcel-gilt, chased. Attached to ungilded domed oval base decorated with sprigs of plants and lizards, all probably cast from life. Head detachable underneath neck ruff for use as drinking vessel. Huntsman wears tall

    Detail: Other

  • Parcel-gilt; the standing figure of the huntsman is entirely gilt, except for the silver ruff around the neck. The ruff is an integral part of the detachable head (H. when detached 6.6 cm). The head is well modelled and chased, with short, curling hair that does not cover the ears, a long, thick moustache and no beard, though the stubble is depicted by a mass of dots scored from ear to ear and over the chin. The head is covered by a huntsman's hat with a tall crown and the broad brim turned up on the right-hand side where the decorative hatband forms a cockade. The silver ruff, its pleats individually fashioned and tooled - not cast - projects horizontally; below, the 'neck' continues to form a shallow, drum-shaped base for the head, which remains hidden when the figure is in its assembled state. The base has been assayed and bears both the town-mark and the maker's mark. The huntsman is richly dressed in the costume of the early seventeenth century, with a high-necked doublet buttoned down the front, over which he is wearing a short, sleeveless, waisted jacket with revers and a small, flat collar; his arms, covered in thick quilted sleeves, are slightly raised as he holds the boar spear in both hands, ready to strike. On his hands he wears short gauntlets, and hanging at his left side (below his jacket) is a small hunting satchel, while attached to his buckled belt is a short dagger (or hunting knife) at his right hip. Below his slashed trunks and elaborate codpiece his legs are clad in hose, plain burnished silver-gilt, except for a plain band of drapery around each knee which has been crossed at the back before being tied with a bow above each knee at the front. He wears a pair of plain, calf-length boots, with the tops turned down. The huntsman stands with all his weight carried on his left leg as he appears to lunge forward, his right leg being extended behind him, the toes just touching the ground. The ground is represented by a high-domed, oval base, completely ungilded but rendered naturalistically by the application of many separately cast sprigs of moss, fern and other plants with berries, or buds and flowers. In amongst the plants are three lizards, modelled or perhaps even cast from live models, in the round. Behind the huntsman's left heel stands a silver-gilt hunting dog with short, curling tail and wearing a collar with a projecting loop (for a leash). Within the high-domed, oval base is housed a steel clockwork mechanism for propelling the figure forward on three wheels. The mechanism is hidden within the high-domed base by a flat, silver oval plate, held in place by four screws at the cardinal points of the foot-rim; in addition, four more holes have been cut in the plate: one is to allow the key to be inserted and to engage with the winding-square, while the other three permit the three wheels to protrude and, as they rotate, to traverse the flat surface of the table. The plate is not only stamped with the town-mark and the maker's mark but bears an old scratched inscription, which may be an early record of its weight.

    Full: Front

  • Table ornament or cup; silver parcel-gilt; huntsman, dressed in late 16thC costume; holds boar spear and leads small dog by curb chain; hat with feather and one side turned up; gauntlets, half-boots and ruff; removable head; oval stand covered in fern-like branches and lizards in full relief; iron clock-work movement within stand which works three wheels on which the whole figure rolls; inscribed.

    Full: Front

  • Parcel-gilt; the standing figure of the huntsman is entirely gilt, except for the silver ruff around the neck. The ruff is an integral part of the detachable head (H. when detached 6.6 cm). The head is well modelled and chased, with short, curling hair th

    Full: Front

  • Parcel-gilt; the standing figure of the huntsman is entirely gilt, except for the silver ruff around the neck. The ruff is an integral part of the detachable head (H. when detached 6.6 cm). The head is well modelled and chased, with short, curling hair th

    Detail: Inscription

  • Ewer, silver-gilt, richly embossed and chased. Classical form comprising oviform body, short stem and small foot, with high spout and handle. Decorated in Mannerist style with scenes of Neptune and Amphitrite, executed in low relief, each within a roundel in the middle of either side of the ewer. Remainder of body covered in elaborate strapwork filled with terms, masks, grotesques, snails, snakes and foliage. Lower spout supported by upraised hands of a caryatid female figure applied to front of ewer. Her sandals rest on the head of a horned mask with beard and pointed ears. Spout ends in form of a beast's neck terminating in a horned goat-like head. Terminal of handle takes the form of a Pan-like satyr with hooves resting on a bracket of scrolling strapwork above the head of a female mask framed by looped drapery. Upper neck projects into raised lip richly embossed with half-animal, half-human mask. Handle rises in sharp curve and turns into the limb of a reptile gripping the scalp of a male mask surrounded by drapery.

    Detail: Other

  • Automaton, parcel-gilt, chased, in form of huntsman and dog. Attached to ungilded domed oval base decorated with sprigs of plants and lizards, all probably cast from life. Head detachable underneath neck ruff for use as drinking vessel. Huntsman wears tal

    Detail: Other

  • Table ornament or cup; silver parcel-gilt; huntsman, dressed in late 16thC costume; holds boar spear and leads small dog by curb chain; hat with feather and one side turned up; gauntlets, half-boots and ruff; removable head; oval stand covered in fern-like branches and lizards in full relief; iron clock-work movement within stand which works three wheels on which the whole figure rolls; inscribed.

    Full: Front

  • Before conservation 15-10-2012. tarnish present in patches.

    Detail: Other

  • Before conservation 15-10-2012. tarnish present in patches.

    Detail: Other

  • Before conservation 15-10-2012. tarnish present in patches.

    Detail: Other

  • Before conservation 15-10-2012. tarnish present in patches.

    Detail: Other

  • Before conservation 15-10-2012. tarnish present in patches.

    Detail: Other

  • Before conservation 15-10-2012. tarnish present in patches.

    Detail: Other

  • Before conservation 15-10-2012. tarnish present in patches.

    Detail: Other

  • Before conservation 15-10-2012. tarnish present in patches.

    Detail: Other