Wenzel Jamnitzer (1508-1585) was born in Vienna, the son of goldsmith Hans Jamnitzer, who later moved with his family to Nuremberg in Germany. Where and from whom Wenzel learned his trade is not known, he may have been apprenticed to his father. Jamnitzer received commissions from successive Habsburg rulers: for Charles V he made a ceremonial sword and scabbard in 1544. Jamnitzer combined classical ornament with themes from nature - grass, flowers and small creatures. These were often cast from actual plants and animals. Besides his patrons at court, Jamnitzer also worked for prominent burgher families of Nuremberg.

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