An early antique German silver dish (or possibly wine taster) of plain oval form with a scalloped border. To the centre there is a charming bird scene surrounded by raised dot decoration. The cast side handles are very pretty. Original interior gilding and a gilt around the top on the outside. Weight 129 grams, 4.1 troy ounces. Height 3 cms (4.5 cms to top of handle). Top of dish measures 16 x 14 cms. Marked on either side of one of the handles with German silver marks for Augsburg and on the inside rim with the makers mark for Hans Jakob Baur. Circa 1650.
Biography – Augsburg’s wealth originated in Roman times when its sophisticated canal system facilitated trade in salt and silver. This route to Rome developed, over the centuries, into a main trading route.
By 1276 trade and banking were so important to this otherwise ordinary town that the burghers of Ausburg were able to make their home into a Free Imperial City. The local municipal government was able to make its own plans, raise its own taxes and legislate for its own laws.
The town’s wealth continued to grow, peaking in the 16th and 17th centuries, due to the export of gold and silver art, armour, the establishment of textile manufacturing, and the city’s continuing role in banking and finance. Wealthy, cultivated and powerful families became wonderful patrons of gold and silver art objects. And the demand must have been endless. Even when Augsburg had only 30,000 inhabitants, some 260-275 of them were occupied full time as master gold and silversmiths.