Laternenhumpen (lantern tankard) by the Nuremberg master Michael Müller – estimate €13,000-18,000 at Van Ham.

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It is a so-called Laternenhumpen (lantern tankard) by the Nuremberg master Michael Müller, who was known to have been active in the 1630s-40s.

As the name implies, such tankards are modelled on the lanterns of the day. According to some sources, only about a dozen such vessels have survived, the majority of them from Nuremberg.

This example is partly gilt and on the front is the enamel depiction of a lighted candle and an inscription, stating that the tankard was intended for one last farewell drink: Dise Latern Ghert ins Haus / Damit Leicht Man den Gesten Naus (‘this lantern goes into the house and makes it easier to get the guests out’).

The inscription is identical to that on another Nuremberg tankard from the early 1630s, made by Esaias zur Linden.

In those days, guests who outstayed their welcome were ushered out with the help of lanterns to light their way. Such tankards were an ironic take on the custom; a 17th century ‘one for the road’.

The estimate is €13,000-18,000.