Table Decoration with “Adder’s Tongues”

ca. 1450



Table Decoration with “Adder’s Tongues”

Pomp and Circumstance: Sumptuous Sideboards Court festivities have always served to demonstrate a host’s status and wealth to the admitted members of the public. In the 15th century, sideboards set with precious objects were a prominent feature of such occasions: gold, silver, and rock crystal vessels were placed next to griffin’s claws, so-called Natternzungenkredenzen (table decorations set with “adders’ tongues”) or burr-wood cups: all of them materials credited with magical powers to protect from poison.

Location: Kunsthistorisches Museum Wien, Kunstkammer Wien Raum XXXV

Object data

Object Name



Nuremberg (?)


ca. 1450


Gilded silver, shark teeth, citrine


27 cm × 16,3 cm × 15,6 cm

Image rights

Kunsthistorisches Museum Wien, Kunstkammer

Inv. No.

Kunstkammer, 89

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