Double cup

Double cup

Double cup
Gilded silver
Hannss Beutmüller (died 1622)
Nürnberg, Germany
About 1600
Museum no. Loan:Gilbert.525-2008
© Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Double cups, or Doppelpokale, were two identical cups with one turned upside down and placed on top of the other for display. A traditional form from south Germany, they first appeared in the 15th century, and were often made as wedding gifts. As they were such a traditional gift, double cups were less subject to changes in fashion than other types of plate. This helps to explain why this early-17th century example has been made in the gothic style of the early-16th century, despite the emergence of more current styles over the century. The stamped gothic tracery around the feet, and the engraved frieze of scrolling foliage and animals on the lip, however, are typical of this later period, when double cups played a prominent role in the gothic revival.