Cylindrical Tankard with Incised Coat of Arms

Cylindrical tankard, polished, with an incised coat of arms
Böttger stoneware, Meissen, c. 1710–1715
Contemporary silver-gilt mount, Nuremberg hallmark, master craftsman’s mark “HN” (see Rosenberg 1922–1928, vol. 3, no. 4289) and an as yet unidentified coat of arms

H. 22.5 cm (8⅞ in.)


For comparison:
Dresden, Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden, Porzellansammlung (inv. no. P.E. 2367, published in Syndram/Weinhold 2009, p. 45, fig.14); Leipzig, Grassi Museum für Angewandte Kunst (inv. no. V 1516 [I. C. 547]; with the same incised pattern, illustrated in Gielke 2003, p. 84, no. 8); Nuremberg, Germanisches Nationalmuseum (inv. nos. 545 and 3236, published in Bott 1982, p. 83, figs. 76 and 77).

This polished cylindrical Böttger stoneware tankard has a broad applied band handle and an incised coat of arms in an oval frame topped with a baldacchino found in a similar form in armorial mantles, all surrounded by a moresque ornament made up of Laub- und Bandelwerk.

The surround, which is found in an almost identical form on a tankard in the Grassi Museum für Angewandte Kunst in Leipzig, was certainly derived from the kind of contemporary ornament engravings found, for example, in the series Groteschgen Werk vor Mahler Goldschmidte Stucato inventirt durch Paulus Decker Architectum [Paul Decker the Elder], engraved by Lorenz Beger (1663–1735) and published by Johann Christoph Weigel the Younger (1661–1726). The elements of ornamental and figural decoration were executed by glass- or stone-cutters, with monograms and coats of arms customarily only being added after the item had been sold.
The two heraldic elements incised in the central medallion are arranged in a cross and have a six-pointed star above. As the two elements are a frying pan and a handle of some kind, we can confidently assume the device to be a punning coat of arms belonging to the Pfannenstiel (“pan-handle”) family of Weiden, and more specifically to Philipp Caspar Pfannenstiel, who was born in Weiden in 1664. Pfannenstiel subsequently studied law in Altdorf and Leipzig and was later active as a learned lawyer in Nuremberg, Hof and Kulmbach. In 1710 he was finally given the titles of Imperial Court Councillor and Count of the Palatinate, and was made an active Court Councillor of Bamberg and legal advisor to the Fränkische Ritterschaft or Guild of Franconian Knights. These appointments were clearly accompanied by the bestowal of a noble title, as on a later portrait engraving the family coat of arms has been improved through the addition of three heraldic lines. Philipp Caspar Pfannenstiel died in 1735 in Nuremberg (for this piece of information our thanks go to Dr. Lorenz Richter).

REF No. 149