Saturday, May 8, 2010

Jungfrauenbecher or Maiden's Cup

Dating from the 16th century, the Jungfrauenbecher or maiden's cup, was traditionally part of German wedding ceremonies during the 16th and 17th centuries. The cup, usually of German silver, is in the form of a young maiden holding a basket above her head.

The maiden's bell shaped skirt, when inverted, serves as a goblet. The small basket above the figure's head pivots so that it can remain upright when the figure is turned upside down.

According to tradition, both the skirt and the basket are filled with wine. The groom makes a toast, then drinks from the skirt, and then is to turn the figure right side up without spilling any of the wine in the smaller cup from which the bride then drinks.

Since posting this, Johanna of Silber-Rosen wrote to share the following information on the jungfrauenbecher:

"Oh Sarah, you have always very intresting items and so nice stories to tell. I appreciate this Jungfrauenbecher so much because it is a speciality of the Hanau Antique Silver Manufacturers. I was told the story, that once a young silversmith wanted to marry a nice girl. Her father told him, he would only allow the marriage when the young man would be able to create a goblet, that allows to drink both on the same time. So this Jungfrauenbecher is the result and the couple got married."

Our Jungfrauenbecher was given to us by my mother-in-law at our rehearsal dinner. She changed up the challenge a bit. We both had to drink the wine from the cups at the same time, and the first to finish their cup was said to be the one who would be the "boss" of the household. Obviously, I drank the few sips in my cup before my husband could finish his large cup of wine. You can see from this photo of our rehearsal dinner that we were amused with this challenge.

Both my own mother and my mother-in-law are dear to my heart. We lost my mother-in-law to throat cancer in the 80s. My mom, 95, is still with us. As today is Mother's Day, I'd like to raise a toast to these two incredible women who have had a lasting influence upon my own life.

Happy Mother's Day, Dear Ones!

Here is one more shot capturing the "blue hour" on the eve of Mother's Day 2010. If you missed Susan's post about "blue hour" photography, you can read it here.

Happy Mother's Day to all!

It may be Mother's Day but it is also the 2nd Sunday of the month and that means Beth @ The Gypsy Fish Journal is hosting Silver Sunday. Click here to see the beautiful and usual silver fish that Beth is spotlighting today and for a list of more silver to be shared.


The summer we married, my husband was in graduate school, and I was employed as a teacher. We took a portion of our savings that summer and purchased a sailboat. We christened our Catalina 22, “Hyacinths For The Soul” after Saadi’s poem. Our "Hyacinths" provided years of pleasure.


  1. Sarah, this was not only beautiful to look at, but very interesting. Loved hearing about the special marriage cup. And I'm so glad that your mother is still with you. What a blessing! Speaking of which, I hope the two of you have a wonderful Mother's Day!


    Sheila :-)

  2. An amusing and interesting story. Beautiful maiden cup.

    Happy Mother's day

  3. Beautiful maiden cup and beautiful story.

    Happy Mother's Day with those you love. Treat yourself well!


  4. Oh Sarah! What exquisite pieces! What a fun tradition! Did you sign up for my giveaway yet?...Christine

  5. Such a beautiful tradition and a lovely piece of silver. I've never seen anything like it.
    You're blessed to still have your mum with you - I wish both of you a Happy Mothers' Day!

  6. Hi Sarah, Thank You for stopping by today. I like the display of your silver. And the hydrega flowers are beautiful. Enjoy your Mother's Day...Julian

  7. Dear, dear Sarah! What a beautiful tradition! I have never seen anything like this cup, and this one is an exceptional model of a lovely custom and art. Thank you for visiting me and leaving a comment. I wish you the best and most memorable mother's day!!


  8. What a wonderful maiden's cup & fun tradition~ Love your photo at your rehearsal dinner! Happy Mother's Day to you :-)

  9. Very fun tradition...I would have loved to it in action...thanks for sharing this month. ...see you next month....Happy Mother's Day~

  10. Such a beautiful tribute Sarah! And most interesting, I learn something from you all the time.

    Have a great day!

  11. Sarah,
    I so enjoyed seeing the picture of the two of you at your rehearsal dinner, how happy you both look. The goblet is wonderful and the story to match just priceless.
    Sending love, bisous & best wishes to you & your Mother on this special day.

  12. Oh Sarah, you have always very intresting items and so nice stories to tell. I appreciate this Jungfrauenbecher so much because it is a speciality of the Hanau Antique Silver Manufacturers. I was told the story, that once a young silversmith wanted to marry a nice girl. Her father told him, he would only allow the marriage when the young man would be able to create a goblet, that allows to drink both on the same time. So this Jungfrauenbecher is the result and the couple got married.
    Your Jungfrauenbecher is inside gilted, so I think it is at least made in 800 silver. Very nice item.
    Now I raise my glass and toast to you and your and all Mothers. Be blessed.
    Greetings, Johanna

  13. That's one smart mother in law you had, sorry she is no longer with you. Happy Mother's day to you and your mother.

  14. Love the Silver Maiden Cup & the Story behind it ~ Thank you for sharing on the Beautiful Silver Mother's Day.....

  15. Hi Sarah
    What lovely silver pieces.. the Maiden's cup is amazing.. such a lovely and unique piece.. I hope you have a wonderful Mothers Day.. xx Julie

  16. Hi Sarah,

    What a wonderful tradition. You look very happy in that photo!

    What a lovely tribute to both of "the mom's". God Bless you my friend.

    Big hugs,

  17. Oh Sarah!

    this is a fantastic piece! It is so beautiful and the story behind it is amazing! I loved reading about it and seeing you and your hubby drink from it! What a great post.

    Happy Mother's Day!

  18. What an interesting piece and and interesting story!!! the maiden cup is so pretty!

  19. Hi Sarah!

    I had one of those cups last year, I've regretted selling it ever since!

    Thank you so much for your unbelievably kind comments on my last post, they truly did touch my heart.

    Wishing you a very Happy Mother's Day!


  20. What a beautiful silver piece and what a great story that goes with it....I didn't have one at my wedding and yet the husband took the title of "Boss" without asking...Hope you are enjoying a wonderful Mother's Day!! Sue.

  21. I love that silver piece that you have and thanks for the history of it. I have never heard of that before. Hope you had a wonderful day.

  22. Such an interesting & informative post, Sarah! I ♥ your jungfrauenbecher!! How cool that Johanna owns one, too & was able to share her story & photos with you. Isn't the internet amazing?!

    Lovely *blue hour* photo. I haven't tried to capture it yet.

  23. I loved this post. I didn't know this story or tradition and it is a lovely one!

    The photo of you and your husband is wonderful!

    I'm sorry you were missing your Mother-in-Law today!

    Hope everything else was wonderful!

  24. Hi Sweet Sarah! Oh, this is a wonderful tradition and a lovely piece. I've never heard or seen on of these but what a treasure!
    Happy Mother's Day,
    Shelia ;)

  25. Sarah,
    This is so interesting, and cute story from your other blogger who had the experience herself.

    blessings, and thanks for coming by

    barbara jean

  26. I never heard about this cup before. How interesting! It is beautiful also....hope you had a good day.....

  27. What a wonderful treasure! I love the story and the pic of you with your DH is sooo cute! Happy Mother's Day, Sarah!

  28. What a great tradition! It's a lovely piece. Nice to get to see a snapshot of your wedding rehearsal. Happy Mother's Day to you, too.

  29. What an interesting post, Sarah! And what acute photo of the newlyweds! I was unaware of Jungfrauenbeche or of the story behind it! I also scrolled down...running behind, as usual!...and I loved your pig post! lol so cute! Hope you had a wonderful weekend. It was chilly but sunny here...nice! Happy week!...hugs...Debbie

  30. That's a great story! I love traditional items used in special ways. Really nice! Linda

  31. such a neat tradition and cool photo of y'all. Lezlee

  32. such a gorgeous piece and lovely story! thanks for stopping by my blog!

  33. Good Morning Sarah!

    I love the story about the cup. You do have such wonderful things and stories to tell about them all!

    You absolutely were born with the gift of teaching. I am always amazed at what I learn when I read your posts. Thanks for sharing with us!

    Have a great week!

  34. that was a delightful read! I hope you and your Mom shared some wonderful memories on Sunday. Have a super great week. xoxo Lynn

  35. Sarah, That was so interesting and I have never heard of this story of the Maiden Cup. I just love the picture of you and your dear husband!

  36. Oh Sarah, I loved this blog post. Since I am German I loved being reminded of that tradition and the
    Jungfrauenbecher is so pretty. Thank you for always leaving me such kind comments, reading them always brightens my day.

  37. Sarah, I've seen these before, but never really known exactly how they were used. Yours is beautiful. laurie

  38. What a beautiful piece! I had never heard the story before -so interesting!


  39. I learn new things every day here in blog land. I love the way you paid tribute to the amazing women in your life with this post.

  40. I'm so happy that I learned something new today...thanks for the story:)


  41. What a beautiful picture! And so informative..I had never heard of that cup..just beautiful, Sarah..
    God bless your dear mom..Mine would be 97..


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