The cup is from Munich (Bavaria), made for the family of a local baker in 1626, possibly by Hans Ernst Gottbewahr (died in 1634), with engraved portraits & inscriptions to the rim.
Coconut was prized not only because of its exoticism, but also for its purported medical properties. Coconut milk alleviated, among other things, tapeworm, fever, kidney and bladder afflictions and served as an aphrodisiac as well. The nut’s shell was rumoured to possess the ability to reveal poisons. This particular attribute of the fruit of the coconut palm predetermined its use as the cup element in drinking vessels. The design of this standing cup, with lion & lambrequin straps, is a beautiful example of the prized mounting of rare items of naturalia, found in southern Germany in the second half of the sixteenth & early seventeenth century. c 1624.
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