German - Ostrich, 17th century


Ostrich, 17th century

Ostrich egg with silver mount , 45.5 cm (17 15/16 in.)


This silver ostrich cleverly uses an ostrich egg--considered exotic materials by its German maker--as its body. One theory speculates that these types of vessels, who's heads are detachable, were used in a drinking game. Not only would the consumer have trouble ingesting liquid from the narrow neck, but the ostrich's wings would flap their face.   Isabella displayed two more ostrich eggs in the museum's galleries, although this is the only one with such remarkable craftsmanship and perhaps a history of practical jokes.