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Bernard de Leye Gallery

Collection: 1650 — Monstrance

1650 - Antwerp (Belgium)
Jan Herck


The four lobes base is lined with a row of egg-shaped surmounted by a pearl row. Each of the lobes carries four heads of cherubs. The stalk supports a lower snare with a frieze of interlaced foliages. The bulbous trunk represents Saint Bernard, Saint Gertrude and Saint Eloi. The origin central cylinder in ruby-glass, intended to receive the host, is placed between four columns surrounded with a magnificent decor of volutes and with foliages and cherub’s heads. A small double canopy overhangs the entablature decorated with consoles in volutes and with bunches of grapes surrounded with two winged angels. The whole is topped by a cross put on eagle.

Marks description

~ Mark of the city of Antwerp : a crowned hand
~ Date mark – letter T – standing for the years 1652/1653
~ Master silversmith Jan Herck marking with the monogram IHK

Movement description


Jan Herck

Jan Herck was born in 1593, he is the son of Peeter Herck. Apprenticed in Italy from 1612 till 1617. He returns in Antwerp in 1617. He marries in 1620, Elisabeth Sophie, widow of the silversmith Jan Carré. In the death of his family, he remarries in 1634, with the daughter of the jeweler Martinus de Wilde. Guard in 1640-1641. He is mentioned until 1658. He dies in 1664. His brother LENAERT HERCK is also a silversmith in Antwerp.
Jan Herck is the silversmith of an extraordinary ivory and silver-gilt salt cellar being part of the collections of the Royal house of Sweden since 1680.
The body of this salt cellar shows the birth of Venus surrounded with nereids, with tritons and putti holding wreaths. The ivory, sculptured by Iorg Petel, is realized according to Pieter Paul Rubens’s project. This salt cellar, among which the frame and the cup are with Jan Herck’s mark, is part of the private collection of Rubens, its succession dating 1640, and then this salt cellar passed successively to Queen Christine of Sweden in 1649, to count Magnus-Gabriel of The Gardie in 1652, then in the Royal house of Sweden in 1680.

Material data

Height : 88,5 cm
Base lenght : 27,5 cm
Width : 21,8 cm
Bruto weight : 5.800 grams


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