By Johann Berend (Livonian, master 1696, died 1704)
Silver, partly gilt; 9 1/2 x 9 15/16 x 7 3/8 in. (24.13 x 25.24 x 18.73 cm)
The Collection of Giovanni P. Morosini, presented by his daughter Giulia, 1932 (32.75.84)
Most tankards were made in the beer-drinking countries of Northern Europe. They were usually made of pewter, ceramic, or sometimes of stone or wood, but as early as the sixteenth century a growing class of wealthy burghers created a demand for a more luxurious variety in silver. Tankards could be cylindrical or cone-shaped, low and broad or tall and slender, and were usually quite capacious. They were fitted with hinged lids, and supported on molded, circular feet. The silver ones were often richly ornamented by engraved, repoussé, or cast elements. Toward the mid-seventeenth century, Scandinavian tankards evolved into a distinctive Baroque variety, with a low, broad, cylindrical body supported by three ball feet, an S-shaped handle, and a hinged lid that was often ornamented with engraved or repoussé decoration. Swedish examples were often fitted with ornamental disks screwed to the exterior of the lid. The Swedish type prevailed also in the Baltic land of Livonia, a territory subject to the Swedish crown until 1720, and the city of Riga was the major producer of Livonian silver tankards. The Museum's tankard is engraved with the arms of Fredrich Wessenlinck and his wife, Ursula von Vriesbergen. Wessenlinck was an official for Livonian agricultural affairs in Stockholm. The tankard is a typical product of Riga, with its ball-shaped, foliate-covered feet attached to foliate cartouches enframing medallions with heads, and a circular plate on the lid depicting lovers in a pastoral landscape. It differs from Swedish tankards of the period in the exuberance of the entwined pomegranates on its thumbpiece and the split spirals at the base of the handle.