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A catalogue raisonné of over 350 works from across Europe

Daniel Lang (d. 1635)

Equestrian statuette of Gustavus II Adolphus of Sweden c.1635

Silver, partly gilt | 35.2 x 28.5 x 19.0 cm (whole object) | RCIN 35456

Lantern Lobby, Windsor Castle

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A German silver and parcel gilt equestrian group of Gustavus Adolphus, King of Sweden, the king wearing riding coat with sash, lace collar and breeches, holding a baton in his outstretched right hand, the horse with elaborate harness, rearing on its hind legs.

The statuette is assembled from 29 individual pieces of cast, cut or wrought silver, all chased to distinguish the different surfaces. When fully assembled it is still possible to remove the horse's head in order that the statuette can function as a drinking vessel. It was made in c.1635 in Augsburg and bears the mark of the goldsmith Daniel Lang, who produced several versions of this popular model. The form derives from a series of bronze statuettes of Habsburg rulers made by the Austrian sculptor Caspar Gras (c.1585-1674), the court sculptor at Innsbruck, a decade earlier.  The statuette was in the collection of George III and Queen Charlotte at Buckingham House and Kew; however it may already have been in the collection prior to the reign.

Gustavus Adolphus of Sweden (1594-1632) was the hero of the Protestant cause during the Thirty Years' War. Considered one of the greatest commanders of the period, Gustavus spent much of his life in warfare, and was named The Golden King and the Lion of the North for his military and political prowess. After his death in 1632, he was widely commemorated in portraits depicting him in the heat of battle.
 
Struck on rim of foot with city mark of Augsburg and maker's mark of Daniel Lang.
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