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Virgilius Solis (1514–1562) was a German artist who worked in Nürnberg and Augsburg, and is well-known for his woodcuts, etchings and copper engravings [1, 2]. His work was used by gold- and silversmiths as design for drinking-cups,vases and ornaments [3].

BNE_INVENT41931

One of these engraving is in the Biblioteca Digital Hispánica [4] and shows a design for a drinking-cup with a snail as body. The shell is regularly ribbed but stylised, the apertural lip is strong. From the aperture the head of a snail is peeking out, its mouth wide open and its lower tentacles with eyes.
It must have been a drink with a smile…

Notes:
[1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Virgil_Solis (6.i.2014).
[2] Peters, J.S. (1987). German masters of the sixteenth century: Virgil Solis: intaglio prints and woodcuts: 1–602. Abaris, New York.
[3] Rimell, J. (1862). Drinking-cups, vases, ewers and ornaments designed for the use of gold and silversmiths. Twenty-one fac-similis of extremely rare etchings by Virgil Solis: [118 pp]. Rimell, London. Available at http://bit.ly/1aa6GSk (6.i.2014).
[4] BNE Invent/41931.

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