The goldsmith Boas Ulrich was born in 1550 in Nuremburg, where he probably received his early training. By 1570 he was a journeyman in the workshop of Hans Schebel in Augsburg. He achieved master status in Augsburg in 1576, the year of his marriage to Anna Maria Liephart, daughter of the goldsmith Georg Liephart. A letter of 1591 to Emperor Rudolf II lists him among the fourteen best goldsmiths in Augsburg. In the same year he worked on diplomatic gifts for the emperor's embassy to the Turkish court, and in 1603 provided works for the emperor and for the ducal court of Bavaria. His commissions from 1604 to 1606 included gold chains, bowls, and cups. The Bavarian court paid him in 1608 for a Schreibtisch (richly adorned cabinet-desk) as a present for the "Florentine wedding," presumably that of the future Grand Duke Cosimo II and Maria Maddalena of Austria. From 1606 to 1618 he served repeatedly as Geschaumeister (quality inspector) for the Augsburg goldsmiths, and was a Vorgeher in 1614. Metal ornaments and reliefs by Ulrich and his more prolific contemporary Matthias Wallbaum have occassionally been identified on the same chest. Their deocrated coffers and chests are sometimes so similar as to generate confusion over the attribution, and some reliefs by each derive from the same model. The two may occasionally have collaborated. Ulrich died in Augsburg in 1623. His son became a goldmsith and mintmaster. [This is an edited version of the artist's biography published, or to be published, in the NGA Systematic Catalogue]
Rosenberg, Marc. Der Goldschmiede Merkzeichen. 3d ed. 4 vols. Frankfurt, 1922-1928: 3 (1922):49-50, no. 386.
Löwe, Regina. Die Augsburger Goldschmiedewerkstatt des Matthias Walbaum. Munich and Berlin, 1975: 19-21, 78, 104-105.
Hayward, John F. Virtuoso Goldsmith and the Triumph of Mannerism 1540-1620. London, 1976: 55, 229, 238-239.
Geissler, Heinrich, ed. Zeichnung in Deutschland: Deutsche Zeichner 1540-1640. 2 vols. Exh. cat. Staatsgalerie, Stuttgart, 1979: 1:236-237.
Seling, Helmut. Die Kunst der Augsburger Goldschmieder 1529-1868. 3 vols. Munich, 1980, 1:91, 2:258, 3:86; no. 906.
Welt im Umbruch: Augsburg zwischen Renaissance und Barock 2. Rathaus. Exh. cat. Rathaus, Augsburg, 1980: 282-283, 379-380.