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A cylindrical, capped bottle closed with a handle. This bottle is richly decorated with an artistic decorative design of plants and various other figures. The vessel was used in a practical way for storing valuable spices from overseas, but was also prized for its beauty. It was richly decorated by a master coppersmith.

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A cylindrical, capped bottle closed with a handle. This bottle is richly decorated with an artistic decorative design of plants and various other figures. The design features acanthus leaves and depictions of various animals (a dog, a lion, a buck, a panther and a deer) located at the bottom and images of birds above (a hoopoe, a starling, a blackbird, a raven and an eagle). On the bottom rim, there are elements of an ornament of an auricular style. At the vaulting of the coat, there is a rosette with six diverse petals. The cap is convex and covered with a wavy ruffle, as well as being decorated with rings of half rolls, acanthine palmettes and a laurel wreath.
The vessel was used in a practical way for storing valuable spices from overseas, but was also prized for its beauty. It was richly decorated by a master coppersmith. In the 17th century, similar bottles of smaller sizes were made of silver or cast in tin. Animal drawings, of birds in particular, are generally associated with the graphic designs of Dutch copperplates that were available throughout Europe thanks to the printing press. The artistic decoration of the bottle resembles the elaborate motifs of cordovans that were produced in the Netherlands in the 2nd half of the 17th century which also reached Poland due to the wide availability of prints. They enjoyed popularity in Royal Prussia, and they were imitated by the cordovan makers of Gdańsk.

Elaborated by Anna Petrus (Wawel Royal Castle), editorial team of Małopolska’s Virtual Museums, © all rights reserved

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Spice bottle

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