The treasury of the mediaeval cathedral of Várad (Oradea) was secularized by the Protestant estates of Transylvania in 1557. Following this move, a part of the goldsmith's work and textiles were taken to the castle of Ecsed. The manuscripts and textiles were still there in 1603; the remnants were transported to Kassa (Košice) in 1617. There is evidence, however, that important items of the Várad textiles had left the castle of Ecsed earlier. Gergely Bornemissza, who was bishop of Várad from 1572 to 1584, seems to have been able to get back valuable pieces which were at Jászó when he died (December 1584). The Vienna court had the movables inventoried, for it was customary to exchange a high priest's estate for money. The first step was taken on 27 August 1585, followed soon by an order to transport the silverware to Vienna. The rest was assessed in 1588 when the three inventories discussed in this paper were taken. At that time, there were mainly textiles in Kassa, most of them chasubles, copes and two infulae with beadwork. Outstanding among them were a chasuble showing King St Ladislaus in the company of St Stephen and St Emeric (the crowns of Ss Ladislaus and Stephen were made of silver), and one adorned with the coat of arms of King Matthias Corvinus. The beadwork images on one of the infulae show the Calvary and the Resurrection of Christ. They alone were embellished with precious stones mounted in gold rosettes, the chasubles were not decorated with gems but with beads of varying sizes. There is no doubt that the liturgical vestments that went from Várad into Bishop Gergely Bornemissza's possession were of extraordinary importance. (Nothing is known of their subsequent history.) Bornemissza was already known for art history as the white marble reliefs of King Matthias and Queen Beatrice now in the Museum of Fine Arts, Budapest, first appeared in his possession before king Maximilian ordered them to be sent to Vienna.
Recent publications on the goldsmiths of the early modern age employed in aristocratic courts provide the grounds for the reconsideration of some basic questions concerning an outstanding art work in the Esterházy col lection, first of all the circumstances of its commissioning and creation. It can be concluded that the “official” de finition of the gold cup with enamel decoration from the first decade of the 17th century prevalent for some twenty years now need revising. The more exact dating and the fact that the cup is adorned with the enamelled pictures of the coat of arms of Lower Austria allow for a far more palpable assumption about the client who gave the commission and the original owner. It is now presumed that the goldsmith's work was commissioned by archduke Matthias of Habsburg (1557–1619), Holy Roman Emperor from 1612, in 1608, the year of the beginning of his rule – after the resignation of his brother Rudolf II – over the hereditary Austrian provinces. As his personal present, the cup might have been given to its first designated owner Count Paul Sixtus Trautson (1550–1621), who was appointed lieutenant-governor (Statthalter) of Lower Austria at the same time.
The subsequent fate of the art treasure is still an unsettled issue: how long it was in Trautson's possession, when and how it changed hands, how it arrived in the Fraknó treasury of the Esterházy family where it can be traced back to the 1690s. The paper attempts answers to these questions. The “final” answer, however, is expected to appear in a study of the Festschrift to be published on an equally festive occasion in honour of Miklós Mojzer in November 2021.
(Le rôle du chien dans les croyances religieuses chez les Hongrios du X e –XII e siècles) . MFMÉ 1971/1 , 295 – 315 . Bálint , Cs. 2010 : Avar goldsmiths’ work from the perspective of cultural history . In: “Intelligible Beauty”. Recent