Head and shoulders above everything else in price terms was the €270,000 (£245,455) paid for a silver-gilt and polychromed Renaissance era drinking goblet made in Nuremberg.
The 12½in (33cm) high, 402gm cup, which has marks for Andreas Rossner, 1592-1601, has a large bowl fashioned as a stylised bunch of grapes supported on a figural stem formed as a woodcutter by a grape vine, set on an unusual trefoil-shaped openwork base chased with vine sprigs and applied with three small frogs.
The only other known work by Rossner, notes the catalogue, is a drinking vessel in the form of an owl in a private collection, which was exhibited in 1968 in the Centennial Museum in Vancouver.
The goblet is notable not just for its early date and the fine and elaborate nature of this decoration but also the survival of the polychromed scrolling foliate finial on the cover: not fired enamelwork but pigment that has been painted on the silver surface and is therefore less durable.
The price at the auction on May 29 was over three times the estimate of €80,000-90,000.
Nuremberg at the double
Dating from a few years later was another Nuremberg silver-gilt drinking goblet, in this case a double cup with bowls also fashioned as bunches of grapes.
Measuring 12in (30cm) high and weighing 359gm, this had marks for Caspar II Beuthmüller, 1612-32, and an engraved inscription to the lower goblet that suggests it was given by a flour merchant to the local miller’s guild. It sold for €23,000 (£20,910).
The sale also featured an Augsburg-made silver gilt travelling dining set from the early 18th century marked for Johann Ludwig II Biller and for 1734-36. The set, in a fitted velvet lined leather case, comprised a beaker, egg cup, knife, fork spoon and marrow scoop, all decorated with chased trellis and lambrequins and with oriental figures to the cutlery, with a total silver weight (without the knife) of 512gm.
Described by the auction house as of museum quality and provenanced to a French private collection, this realised €18,500 (£16,820).
£1 = SFr 1.19 /€1.10/$1.26