Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Hapsburg Drinking Games

Rudolf II loved toys, but especially toys that required drinking large amounts of alcohol. Shown here is his Automaton of Diana and the Stag (1620), one of the first royal drinking games. The stag’s removable head doubles as both bizarre centerpiece and drinking cup. Participants would wind up the mechanism at the base of the sculpture and it would spin around until Diana's arrow landed on a person in the party. Diana’s chosen party-goer was then required to drink the contents of the stag head....a far classier alternative to Beer Pong.

What's your favorite drinking game? Does it involve a golden stag? In my very pregnant state, my favorite drinking game is to sniff everyone's wine and guess what it tastes like. Fun!

Art Credit: Metropolitan Museum of ArtArts of Northern Europe


Carrie K said...

So Post Office has a long and distinguished history? Wasn't Rudolf II dead by 1620? (I only know that because I'm slogging, er reading The Thirty Years War at the moment. )

Bearded Lady said...

I was confused about the date too, because I am pretty sure the artist Joachim Friess was also dead by 1620. But I am positive that this artifact came from Rudolf’s cabinet of curiosities. The History Channel recently featured some of the automatons he commissioned (including this one) along with a clockwork celestial globe. The man was really was into toys!

My guess is that the date given to the Automaton of Diana is later because some of the embellishments like the jewels were added later?

Emma O W said...

That's probably the highlight of my week! Really cool! Is it just me, though, or does that stag look awfully equine?

My favourite drinking game is less historical and more archaeological: The Time Team Drinking Game.

Bearded Lady said...

No, the stag definitely looks a little horsey.

I like the Time Team Drinking Game! I have a big ole crush on Josh Bernstein from Digging for the Truth and I would like to play this game to reruns. (The show doesn't air anymore?)

Carrie K said...

Works for me. It does sound like something he'd have.