Bär mit Flinte aus dem XVI. Jahrhundert

Unfortunately I’ve nothing to add to this picture of a 16th century bear with a musket, from (or formerly in?) the KHM in Vienna, (the Art History Museum). I can’t find a more current picture, so perhaps it hasn’t survived the 2oth century.  MMcM found it here, in Die Kunst und Wunderkammern der Spätrenaissance: ein Beitrag zur Geschichte des Sammelwesens Volume 11 of Monographien des Kunstgewerbes by Julius von Schlosser.  I think it was part of Rudolph II‘s Cabinet of Curiosities (kunst– or wunderkammer), possibly rescued by Joseph II, long after the Prague collection had been dispersed during the Thirty Years’ War.

Update: Thanks to the remarkable erudition of Language Hat and Bruessel (who found the appropriate passage in the Schlosser monograph–you just have to press Find: Pisam), I can tell you that aus”Pisam” refers not to a place, but is an explanation that the bottle is made from a musk-oil paste.  It might possibly have been a snuff container.  Somehow the duc du Berry is part of the story; I think merely that the kunstkammer contained some pieces that had belonged to him (not this one, which is too late).

Another Update: The full story of the bear and other similar bears is told by the art historian Studiolum at Poemas del rio Wang.  As always, he has lovely pictures.

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