Inventory no.: 898

Wine Goblet, Niello & Coconut, Georgia


Niello Silver & Coconut Wine Flask or Goblet


circa 1850

length: 27cm, weight: 322g

Although in the form of a flask, this vessel was used at Georgian wedding and other important feasts as a goblet. As such, it was not intended to have a stopper.

It comprises silver mounts patterned with fine niello work over a polished coconut. The vessel has a long neck and a flared foot. The neck is decorated in niello with alternating floral bands reminiscent of Ottoman floral work. The shoulder and the four silver bands that lay over the coconut have scrolling arabesque work. The foot also has scrolling vegetal motifs.

Each festival or feast had its own fixed, communal formula. The

tamada or toast-master was the lead figure. He was required to propose toasts for all present, following strict rules of precedence. He also announced when there would be music, singing and dancing. The tamada was usually elected from among the most eloquent present.


similar goblets are illustrated in The Caucasian Peoples, catalogue for an exhibition of the Russian Ethnographic Museum, staged at the Hessenhuis, Antwerp, Belgium, 2001, p. 161.


UK art market.

Inventory no.: 898