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Tankard with the Judgment of Solomon, David with the Head of Goliath, and Daniel in the Lion’s Den

1570s-1580s
Relief decoration from molds by Frans Trac, German (active Siegburg), active 1559 - 1568

This tall tankard, known in German as a Schnelle, is a fine example of the stoneware ceramics made in Siegburg, Germany. Stoneware was first produced in Europe in the German Rhineland and eastern Netherlands in the 1200s. This type of ceramic becomes impervious to liquids when fired to high temperatures, making it an ideal material for drinking vessels.


Siegburg became an important center for stoneware in the 1300s, and tall tankards decorated with refined Renaissance designs became its specialty. The tankard’s tall sides provided ample room for reliefs based on contemporary prints. The upper medallion of each of the three vertical decorative panels is based on a woodcut of the Judeo-Christian story of the Judgment of Solomon from the 1562 book Biblische Figuren by the printmaker Virgil Solis.


This tankard was one of the first examples of German stoneware to enter the museum’s collection when it was purchased in 1876.

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Object Details

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