Deckelpokal aus Rhinozeroshorn mit Warzenschweinhauern

1611, Artist: Nikolaus Pfaff



Deckelpokal aus Rhinozeroshorn mit Warzenschweinhauern

The pictorial, expressive character of this goblet was determined by the underlying idea of warding of demonic powers in nature by objectifying them. The formidably tusk of the warthog give the appearance of being the horns on the head of the wild beast dominating the lid. Between its bared teeth it once bore an "adder's tongue" (fossilized shark tooth). The small creatures on the lid and the base (life casts of spiders, beetles etc.) symbolize the negative forces in the micro-cosmos. The sides of the horn goblet, which was carved by Nikolaus Pfaff, are enlivened by snakes, lizards and insects. Healing powers were attributed to the horn itself, the adder's tongue and also the sculpted branches of coral around the stem and body of the goblet. The unknown goldsmith belonged to the tradition of Nuremberg masters.

Location: Kunsthistorisches Museum Wien, Kunstkammer Wien Raum XXV

Object data

Object Name







Nikolaus Pfaff (1556? Nürnberg - 1612 Prag) - GND


Horn des afrikanischen Rhinozeros (Weißes Nashorn oder Breitmaulnashorn, Ceratotherium simum), Hauer eines afrikanischen Warzenschweines; Fassung: Silber, vergoldet, teilweise bemalt


H. 49,7 cm, B. 27,5 cm, T. 17,7 cm

Image rights

Kunsthistorisches Museum Wien, Kunstkammer

Inv. No.

Kunstkammer, 3709

IGS - Deckelpokal aus Rhinozeroshorn - Nikolaus Pfaff

OESG - Deckelpokal aus Rhinozeroshorn - Nikolaus Pfaff

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