Green Vault Pearls
(Grune Gewolbe)
Royal Family of Saxony Treasures

Green Vault Pearls in the Palace at Dresden.



A fine collection of large baroque pearls is preserved in the Grune Gewolbe (Green Vaults) in the palace at Dresden, which contains the treasures of the royal family of Saxony.

Zwinger Palace, Dresden, Germany
Zwinger Palace, Dresden, Germany

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Most of these contain the treasures of the royal family of Saxony, of which most were mounted during the eighteenth century by J. M. Dinglinger (1665-1731), the famous goldsmith to the Saxon Elector, King Augustus II of Poland, and who is sometimes called the German Cellini.

A splendid specimen of his work is a vase of Egyptian jasper in the shape of a shell, bearing a representation of Hercules fighting with the Nemaean lion; this bears reference to the immense personal strength and power of Augustus II, whose portrait is painted in enamel on a mirror at the back.

The pedestal is adorned with a great many precious stones, pearls, and enamel paintings in the shape of cameos representing the twelve labors of Hercules. A dragon is studded with emeralds and its back is formed of pearls, with a large sardonyx in the middle. Hercules and the lion are in enamel.

In the same Green Vault Pearls collection may be seen the figure of a dwarf made by Ferbecq, who was one of the goldsmiths of King Augustus. The body of the dwarf is formed of a baroque pearl, which is studded with small diamond. His sleeve and trousers are in black and green enamel; his hat is also of green enamel and on it is a string of diamonds. In his right hand the dwarf holds a spit and in his left a roast. On his left shoulder he bears a goose, the upper part of whose body is formed of a pearl; at his right side hangs a bottle also formed of a pearl. The gilded pedestal is ornamented with white enamel-work on a pink ground. Above and below, it is set with white and yellow diamonds.

Another figure, similarly formed of a larger baroque pearl ornamented with gold and diamonds, shows a drunken vintager and his dog; and an exceedingly grotesque, ornamented baroque is said to bear a striking resemblance to Senor Pepe, the court dwarf of Charles II of Spain.

Information on the Green Vault Pearls as recorded in 1908 by Kunz and Stevenson in "The Book of the Pearl".

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