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Tankard

Used for beer and ale, tankards were often plain or inscribed with the owner's coat of arms. This tankard's unique decoration, which includes engraved stars, planets, and a comet, suggests it was made for a client with an interest in astronomy. The comet almost certainly refers to the Great Comet of 1811, visible for several months even during daylight hours and widely regarded with awe and trepidation.

Credit: Acquired by Sterling and Francine Clark before 1955

1811/12
Silver
5.9 x 5.4 x 3.6 in
1955.114
Image and text: The Clark Art Institute, 2024

Where you'll find this

The Clark
The Clark
Permanent collection