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Joseph-émmanuel zwiener fl. circa 1875-1900 a large and very fine

Bombé to the front and convex to the sides, each vitrine fitted with double doors opening to a mirrored interior and fitted with five glass shelves, the bronze mounts marked ZN and with their respective serial numbers from the workshop master patterns A single vitrine of the exact same model, is currently in the permenent collection of French Garde du Mobilier Nationaland is currently exhibited at the musée d'Orsay, Paris under inventory GME 16375, DO 2009-3. This vitrine was previously in the Gallerie de L'Escalier at the French finance ministry Joseph Emmanuel Zwiener (b. 1849) worked in Paris between 1880 and 1895. He established his workshop at 12, rue de la Roquette, becoming one of the premiere haut luxe cabinetmakers of the late nineteenth century. The exceptional quality of Zwiener’s craftsmanship and extensive usage of fine gilt-bronze invites comparisons to the work of famed ébéniste, François Linke (1855-1946). Working in several styles fashionable in Paris at the time, Zwiener copied mainly Louis XV pieces from public collections, adapting them in his own exuberant interpretation of rococo. At the Exposition Universelle in Paris in 1889, he received the gold medal and a note of high praise from the jurists: ‘dès ses débuts d'une Exposition universelle, [il] s'est mis au premier rang par la richesse, la hardiesse et le fini de ses meubles incrustés de bronzes et fort habilement marquetés.’ In 1895, Zwiener was summoned to Berlin at the request of German Emperor Wilhelm II (1859-1941) at Schloss Neues Palais, Sans Souci, Potsdam. Zwiener was recorded as an exhibitor for the German Pavillion at the 1900 Exposition Universelle.

  • USAUSA
  • 2014-10-29
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An italian pietre dure mounted pewter inlaid rosewood and ebony cabinet

With a gilt-bronze balustraded gallery, the top with a rosewood veneered panel inlaid with pewter stringing similar to the sides above an arrangement of eight double-panelled drawers each concealing segreti centred by an architectural portico with a broken pediment above concealing a drawer, above a drawer mounted with an arched panel with a baluster vase and stylised scallopshell above flanked by gilt-bronze caryatids in drapery surmounted by composite Ionic and Corinthian capitals enclosing six secret drawers with one narrow drawer and a further drawer below with projecting blocks the front mounted by a c-scroll boss with a bust surmounted by three fleur-de-lis, the frieze applied with seven winged cherub terms, each drawer inset with hardstones inlaid in a geometric design within foliate cast gilt-bronze borders including lapis lazuli, various jaspers including Sicilian jaspers, cornelian, agate and calcedonia, the stand with a gilt-bronze border with a band of stylised foliage and geometric motifs, the frieze inset 17th century Florentine panels depicting parrots and a bird on fruiting branches within gilt-bronze foliate cast and beaded borders, each end with a roundel enclosing a stylised patera, on gadrooned and lobed turned tapering legs with foliate-cast gilt bronze collars, the leaf moulded platform with a mirrored back, the sides and base in pewter inlaid rosewood, the rear left leg of the stand with the inventory number in white 02042; some gilt-bronze mounts probably added by Morel and Hughes Comparative Literature: Alvar González-Palacios, Il Tempio del Gusto, Roma e il Regno delle Due Sicilie, Vol. II, Milan 1984, page 94, plate 185. Enrico Colle, Il Mobile Barocco in Italia, Arredi e Decorazioni d'interni dal 1600 al 1738, Milan, 2000, p. 95, no. 18. Anna Maria Massinelli, The Gilbert Collection, Hardstones, London, 2000, pp. 38-40, no. 4. The Provenance: This magnificent architectural cabinet inlaid with pietre dure in a geometric design is one of a distinct group of Roman 17th century pietre dure inlaid cabinets which were highly prized not only at the time of their commission but also later on by Grand Tourists in the 18th and 19th centuries, other examples of which are in renowned public and private collections. The Northumberland Collection almost certainly deserves the accolade of containing the finest collection of hardstone mounted cabinets in England due to the acquisition of the French Royal cabinets by Domenico Cucci (see post). This together with the Lot 11, were probably acquired for Northumberland House on Trafalgar Square in London by Sir Hugh Smithson, later 1st Duke of Northumberland (1714-1786) and his wife, Elizabeth Percy (1716– 1776), on a Grand Tour of Italy in 1773. The Duke and Duchess had some similarities in their artistic tastes. However, the Duke made his own collection and in 1733, he made a Grand Tour of Italy (before his marriage in 1740), which greatly influenced his more classical tastes when he visited Rome, Venice, Vincenza and Milan. This impressive cabinet has been further enhanced by the addition of a George IV stand by Morel and Hughes, the same makers who added the stands for the Cucci cabinets, carved in gonçalo alves mounted with 17th century Florentine panels depicting birds on fruiting branches so typical of the production from the Grand Ducal Workshops.These panels may well have been acquired by the 1st Duke and/the Duchess or subsequently by Hugh Percy, 3rd Duke of Northumberland (1785-1847), which were then mounted by Morel and Hughes in 1823, when they made the present stands and the Florentine pietre dure mounted cabinet (see Lot 11 ). The cabinet: The foundation of the appeal of Roman pietre dure inlaid cabinets to English Grand Tourists was rooted in the archaeological discoveries in Rome in the 16th century, which fired a burning enthusiasm for Antiquities. Rome became a magnet for discerning collectors and antique marbles began to be employed on Roman works of art.The desire to emulate the art of Ancient Rome, together with the Mannerist cult of precious materials (of which Rome had an abundant supply) combined towards the middle of the 16th century to give rise to the Roman inlaid marble works known as commessi (from the Latin committere, to join together). The distinctive feature of these elaborate cabinets was their structure which included characteristic elements of Mannerist architecture, for example, a pediment, pilasters, columns on a façade concealing secret drawers. There were large numbers of highly skilled craftsmen in 17th century Rome, many of whom were Lombard in origin, although the attribution to specific makers for these cabinets (also known as studioli) used to store precious collectors' items still remains unresolved. As Alvar González-Palacios op. cit., states the names of possible cabinet makers for these types of cabinets, such as Giacomo Herman, who was regarded as the best ebanista in Rome at that time executing pieces for the Pope and the Emperor. Other names recorded by Alvar González-Palacios are the Germans-Giovanni Sigrist, Giovanni Falgher (Falker), and the Italians-Niccolo Cavallino and Remigio Chilazzi. The beauty and rarity of these cabinets is in no small measure due to the stunning contrast of the colours and brilliance of the various precious hardstones and the sumptuous gilt-bronze ornamentation. The Roman taste in pietre dure inlaid works differed from that which was predominant in Florence in that it was dominated by abstract geometrical compositions in transparent stones such as jasper, rather than naturalistic or figurative motifs such as flowers and birds, with the intrinsic decoration being in the natural decorative effect of the stone markings itself typical of the Tuscan production. Related Cabinets: The present cabinet in terms of its grandeur and sophisticated symmetrical design and execution can be included in the group of the most lavish Roman 17th century cabinets with rich inlays of lapis lazuli, agates and jaspers which are as follows: 1. A cabinet formerly in the collection of Princess Ruspoli di Poggio Suasa, sold Treasures, Princely Taste, Sotheby’s London, 6th July 2011, lot 3 (£668, 450), reproduced here in fig. 3.  2.  A rare double-fronted cabinet formerly in the Demidoff collection, Palace of San Donato, Florence, which was sold at Sotheby's, Monaco, 20th June 1992, lot 810 (3,000,000FF). This had gilt-bronze sirens on the base similar in conception to those on this cabinet, reproduced here in fig. 4. 3. The William Beckford pietre dure cabinet sold in these Rooms,10th June 1998, lot 20 (£170,000), with eight panelled drawers surrounding a central niche with a vase and similar gilt-bronze figures on a more elaborately mounted raised pediment, reproduced here in fig. 5. 4. The Hamilton Palace Cabinet, sold Christie's, London, 17th June 1882, lot 996, described as `An Italian cabinet of the 16th century...From the design of M. Angelo’, which is of similar monumental form and composition with the addition of a superstructure on the cresting, reproduced here in fig. 6. 5. A pair of cabinets in the Long Gallery and a single one in the Museum Room at Castle Howard, Yorkshire. 6. The cabinet known as the `Pope's Cabinet' in the Cabinet Room at Stourhead, Wiltshire dating from the mid 17th century, although the most elaborate ever produced and on a much taller scale than the offered piece. According to tradition the cabinet once belonged to Pope Sixtus V. 7. A cabinet in the Sala dei Paesaggi, Galleria, Palazzo Colonna, Rome, dating from the mid 17th century,  by Frank I and Dominikus Stainhart (1670-1680), although on a much larger scale and much more ornate on an elaborate blackamoor base, reproduced by Colle, op. cit,  p. 95, no. 18. The Morel and Hughes stand: The unusual stand for this Roman cabinet was part of a commission undertaken by the Royal cabinet-makers, Morel and Hughes who supplied stands for many of the hardstone and marquetry cabinets in the Northumberland Collection in the 1820’s. This cabinet was mounted as was the cabinet- Lot 11, with 17th century Florentine pietre dure plaques depicting birds on fruiting branches, the latter having probably been acquired by Hugh Percy, 3rd Duke of Northumberland during his Grand Tour and around the time he acquired the celebrated pair of `Cucci cabinets’, made by Domenico Cucci at the Gobelins Factory for Louis XIV's apartments at Versailles. Morel and Hughes provided stands for the Cucci cabinets in 1823 as well as carrying out other works the Duke’s collection. The Florentine panels are typical of the production of the Grand Ducal manufactory which had been founded by Ferdinando I de’Medici in 1588 and were highly sought after by aristocratic patrons on their Grand Tour. The use of botanical and naturalistic motifs has been well documented towards the end of the 16th century as being highly esteemed and collectable both at Court and amongst aristocratic patrons. These panels are often stated to be in the manner of Jacopo Ligozzi (b. 1547 Verona, Italy, d. 1627 Florence, Italy) the designer, draftsman and painter at the Court of the Medici. The Duchess and her Collections: Elizabeth Percy, 1st Duchess of Northumberland (1716–1776) was an extraordinary women of her time, she was worldly, had a keen intellect and an unerring eye. She travelled extensively and detailed all her experiences in her lively diaries. A central figure at court, becoming in 1761, Lady of the Bedchamber to Queen Charlotte, a post she held until 1770. This exalted position afforded her many opportunities both through her exposure to other luminaries and the great Royal Collections. She was an avid recorder of what she witnessed and the objects she saw around her and those in the possession of others. Her extensive diaries, a collection of extracts of which were edited by James Grieg, The Diaries of A Duchess, London, 1926, give a tantalising glimpse into her world. She listed all of her own acquisitions in a series of unpublished books which run to some eight separate volumes (Archive of The Duke of Northumberland, Alnwick Castle, DNP MS 122-127). Two volumes are particularly interesting Vol. V; Cameo’s, Intaglias, Bas Reliefs, Bronzes, Busts, Statues and Vol. VIII; Petrifications, Fossils, Ores, Sparres, Christales, Earths, Woods, Marbles, Gems etc. These demonstrate not only a love of collecting in the Kunstkammer tradition (in this respect her trips, in the early 1770's, to the Low Countries and Germany are noteworthy) but also a keen interest in hardstones and minerals and one can only speculate if the offered lot was acquired due to her fascination with these ancient and exotic materials. The lustrous hardstones and jaspers on this cabinet must have so delighted her–especially as her other possessions which utilised these materials were extensive. She was also to visit Italy with the 1st Duke, in 1773, perhaps it was on this trip that she acquired this cabinet. Her buying on her own trips to the Continent was certainly extensive. Many of her possessions are listed after the death of the 1st Duke in the 1786 Inventory of Northumberland House ((Sy.H.VI.2.d), in series of her own rooms on the river front of this London Mansion. These special spaces included the ‘Museum Room’ and the ‘Crimson Drawing Room’ in which this Roman Cabinet is listed, A large Ebony Cabinet with Doors and Drawers in front, inlaid with Stones upon a gilt frame. Perhaps this cabinet lent itself perfectly for the storage of some of the Duchesses other treasures, as there are other pieces listed in these rooms in which she kept her items from her beloved ‘Museum’, and surely this magnificent cabinet would have taken pride of place.

  • GBRUnited Kingdom
  • 2014-07-09
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A JEWELLED GOLD, SILVER, ENAMEL AND HARDSTONE 'PERLFIGUR', CIRCLE

With jewelled enamel hat and enamelled blue suit, turquoise lining and hose, his plump baroque pearl stomach hitched with a ruby and rose diamond belt, brandishing a spessartine garnet flagon in one hand and an enamelled goose also with pearl middle in the other, on a shaped translucent moss agate ground, the base set with two contemporary rectangular enamel plaques, probably Geneva, circa 1700, one painted with Mars and Venus, the other with Mars and Minerva,  after engravings by Simon Vouet (1590-1649), the blue border within crimson leaves, between applied jewelled and enamelled urns on a green enamelled laurel ground and openwork scrolls, eight button supports, two oval bosses of lapis, probably later added, set onto the sides The magnificent collection of ‘Perlfiguren’ acquired by Augustus the Strong (1670-1733) for his newly-created treasure chambers in the Green Vaults in Dresden is well-known. He is known to have owned some 57 pieces and all manner of creatures were there: fish and fowl, real and mythological beasts, and of course human beings from cheerful dwarfs to giant halbardiers, from grotesque beggars to respectable merchants. There are biblical and classical figures, Moors, Commedia dell’Arte characters, tradesmen and soldiers, a microcosm of the many influences swirling around the Saxon court at the time. As with Renaissance jewellery based on pearls, each individual character was initially inspired by the shape of the baroque pearls used in its creation, pearls forming pairs of trousers or a camel’s hump or as in this case, a rounded stomach. The pearls were artfully combined with jewels, hardstones and colourfully-enamelled gold and silver to create a novel category of precious objects known as Galanteriewaren intended to delight and amuse. As the figures were only to be afforded by the very wealthiest purchasers, they were only to be found in imperial, royal or princely Kunstkammern. A second large collection of 13 figures was acquired by Sibylle Auguste, Margrävin of Baden-Baden and listed in her 1733 inventory; further figures are to be found in the treasure chambers of Vienna, Munich, St Petersburg, Copenhagen and Florence. A very few are in museums such as the Walters Art Gallery in Baltimore and, as far as is known, almost none are now in private hands. Given the importance attached by Augustus to these figures (a special cabinet in the treasure chamber was assigned to them), surprisingly little information remains about exactly who made them and where. When they were made is easier to establish since the majority of the figures were acquired by Augustus in the early years of the 18th century and were listed in the 1733 inventory of the treasure chamber, some appearing in earlier inventories of 1706 and 1725.  One group was acquired through the dealer Guillaume Verbecq of Frankfurt and purchased at the great fair in Leipzig, further pieces were supplied by Jean Louis Girardet of Berlin and the Dresden goldsmith, Johann Heinrich Köhler, while a third group are of unknown origin but are also assumed to have been manufactured in Dresden. It is now considered likely that the figures in this last group were made in Dresden either in workshops belonging to or linked to Köhler.  The Northumberland figure falls into the last group as, although it displays stylistic features derived from all three groups, it fits most comfortably into the last. A common characteristic is the glossy enamel used on the figures: mainly translucent blue for the coats, translucent or opaque green or turquoise for stockings or trimmings and opaque black or white for further details. Several also have the distinctive fringed gold edging to their enamelled outfits. The halbardier supplied by Verbecq before 1706 (Syndram/Weinhold, no. 9) has sleeves banded with similar stripes of rose diamonds and pearls; dwarfs from Verbecq and Köhler have the same streaky flesh tones in their faces (S/W, 6 & 22); a swan in a group of animals perched on a coral twig  (S/W, 50, see below) has feathers painted like those on the goose held by this figure. Many more comparisons to individual figures can be made but perhaps the nearest related figure is that of a Galanteriewarenhändler, a pedlar of precious objects accompanied by his spotted dog (S/W, 47, see below), which appears only in the inventory of 1733. Not only is the figure itself related in spirit and execution but also the stands are decorated with similar applied green-enamelled scrollwork; the blue frame to a mirror in the pedlar’s pack echoes the frames around the Geneva enamels decorating the stand of the present figure. The enamel-based stand of the pedlar is almost a pair to that of a further figure of a halbardier, also with a spotted dog, but of somewhat less refined execution (S/W, 49). This, of course, raises the question as to whether the figures and the stands (which vary enormously in quality and design) were made by the same hands. Most probably they were made by different goldsmiths in the same workshops. Not only is the exact origin of many of the figures unknown but the iconographical sources used for their production remain surprisingly obscure. Augustus the Strong’s Print Gallery was extremely well-supplied with earlier and contemporary engravings which were available to the Dinglingers and other Dresden goldsmiths. Certain of the dwarfs are directly derived from Callot prints but most of the other figures, such as the present example, do not appear to have direct graphic sources, or at least so far these have not been found. Even the present figure poses questions of interpretation. At first sight it seems simple: this is a cheerful, slightly inebriated peasant, with Martinmas goose in hand, celebrating the end of the vine harvest. But is it that straight-forward? It has been pointed out that the present figure is very well-dressed for a peasant with a smart suit and fashionable hat even to the elegant gold clocks on his stockings; his features are not grotesque and his hands are pale not sun-burnt. It has been suggested  that the figure represents a courtier dressed as a peasant, possibly as an allegory of November, at one of Augustus the Strong’s many seasonal feasts held to entertain the court and its visitors. These would involve masques, theatre, opera and processions of courtiers, each with its own costumes. Be that as it may, certainly, as with all these captivating figures, the successful intention behind the creation of the figure was surely to amuse and amaze his audience. Sotheby's would like to thank Dr Ulrike Weinhold and Rainer Richter of the Grünes Gewölbe, Staatliche Kunstsammlung Dresden, for their generous help in researching this figure.

  • GBRUnited Kingdom
  • 2014-07-09
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An oushak 'small pattern holbein' carpet, west anatolia

'Holbein' rugs, like many other Anatolian rug types produced from the mid-fifteenth to the mid-sixteenth century, were becoming increasingly popular in Europe during the late 1400s and exported in large quantities to the western market. The specific patterns of imported pieces were associated with the names of the artists that used them most frequently, which included Ghirlandaio, Bellini, Crivelli and Lotto, with each design being named for its respective painter. ‘Holbein’ rug designs  include the 'small pattern' and 'large pattern' of staggered repeat geometric octagonal patterns and a repertoire of Kufesque borders.  Holbein employed rugs featuring these designs in several works including a ‘large pattern’ rug appears in The French Ambassadors and a ‘small pattern’ rug in the 1532 portrait of George Gisze.  The 'small pattern Holbein' carpet at Caramoor is one of some seventy known examples of these fifteenth and sixteenth century weavings to have survived into the twenty-first century. Many of these are incomplete fragments or fragmentary rugs and carpets pieced together from fragments, and the majority of them are in institutions such as the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Berlin Museum, the Textile Museum in Washington, D. C., and various churches and museums in Europe and Istanbul. The Caramoor 'Holbein' carpet is one of the twenty or so carpets known to be in private collections. The large size of the Caramoor carpet also distinguishes it among these surviving examples. A closely related carpet from the collection of Heinrich Wulff is in the Danish Museum of Art and Design, formerly the Museum of Decorative Arts, in Copenhagen, see Charles Grant Ellis, "Ellis in Holbeinland," Oriental Carpet and Textile Studies I, London 1985, no. R-4, p. 62. In the 1973 catalogue of rugs in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, the authors mistakenly attributed the Caramoor carpet as being the carpet once with Heinrich Wulff, see M. S. Dimand and Jean Mailey, Oriental Rugs in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 1973, p. 180. The Wulff carpet is still at the museum in Copenhagen. Ellis identified the Caramoor carpet as having been sold to the Rosens (previous owners of Caramoor) by Adolfo Loewi, and it is quite possible that they purchased this at the same time as the Oushak medallion carpet (lot 182 in this catalogue) in the collection, which would have been on August 27, 1930 in Venice. The Caramoor carpet retains good color and clarity of drawing and features a deep blue-green ground with the octagonal motifs rendered in a variety of colors.  These repeating medallions are arranged according to color in diagonal rows across the field.  In his description of these carpets, Ellis notes "The electricity crackles when we come to R-30, 42....49 (the present lot)--the rugs in which the color treatment seems most eccentric and whimsical," op.cit. p. 59.  The Kufesque border of the current lot is of the 'C1' type as classified by Pinner, see Robert Pinner and Jackie Stanger, “Kufic Borders on 'Small Pattern Holbein' Carpets,” Hali, vol. 1, no. 4, 1978, pp. 335-8, see D14.  This border can be seen in a painting by Antonio Badile entitled Madonna and Child with SS. Andrew, Peter and John the Evangelist and dating from 1544 in the Museo del Castelvacchio, Verona, see John Mills, “'Small Pattern Holbein' Carpets in Western Paintings,” Hali, vol. 1, no. 4, 1978, p. 332, m. 34. For related carpets see Jon Thompson, Milestones in the History of Carpets, Milan 2006, pls. 2 and 3; Alberto Boralevi, Oriental Geometries: Stefano Bardini and the Antique Carpet, Florence, 1999, pl. 12, p. 50-51; Ellis, op. cit., R.28, pp. 65 and 67; for a rug in the Bavarian National Museum, Munich, T.1598, and another in the Hungarian National Museum of Applied Arts, Budapest (inv. no. 14.785) see Ferenc Batari, “The First Turkish Carpet Exhibition in the West,” Hali, Issue 136, p. 71. 'Holbein' carpets of dimensions such as this lot rarely appear on the market, with the most recent example being a 'large pattern' carpet that sold in Venice in 2002 for a record price.  Fragments of 'small pattern Holbein' carpets that have appeared on the market include Christie's London, The Christopher Alexander Collection, October 15, 1998, lot 218 and Christie's London, October 12, 2000, lot 201; as well as the 'Holbein' fragment upholstered armchair from the Bernheimer collection, Sotheby's London, 24 November 2015, lot 13.

  • USAUSA
  • 2016-04-12
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HaGra Glosses to the Talmud - Glosses in his own Handwriting on five

Volume containing Babylonian Talmud Tractates Rosh HaShana, Ta'anit, Yoma, Sukkah and Megillah, as well as the Jerusalem Talmud, Tractate Shekalim. Berlin - Frankfurt am Oder, 1735. Written on the title page in an old handwritten script are the words, "With glosses by the Gra in his own handwriting". Inside the volume itself are numerous glosses handwritten by the Gaon Rabeinu Eliyahu of Vilna. (The script is typical of the early 18th and 19th centuries). Most of the glosses appear in "HaGra Glosses to the Talmud" (Vilna, 1880; this edition was known to be more accurate than previous editions). Some glosses found in this volume do not appear there. * Besides the script on the title page, which states that the glosses are in the Gra's own handwriting, it is also obvious that this is indeed his handwriting based on the style and method of the handwriting here, which is identical to other well-known manuscripts attributed to the Gra. In particular, a clear similarity exists between the glosses in the present volume and the Gra glosses in the Vilna printing of 1880-1886 (which was edited according to the original Gemarot with glosses in the Gra's own handwriting), thus proving without a doubt that this is indeed the volume that the Vilna printers used for the revised edition of HaGra glosses. The Gra studied from these Gemarot. Drops of melted wax appear on the Gemarot leaves. It is known that the Gra closed the shutters of the windows in his room and studied by candle light. See introduction by his disciple Rabbi Israel of Shklov to the book "Pe'at HaShulchan," where he writes about the Gra, "He would close the windows of his room, studying by candle light, so as not to be disturbed or distracted by people, and this was the manner in which he studied from his youth in his toil in Torah, and reviewed the Babylonian Talmud every month, all his life...".* Glosses of the Gra: Editions and the differences between themHaGra glosses to the Talmud were first printed partially and incorrectly by a gentile printer, Anton Schmidt, in Vienna in 1806. Schmidt purchased a copy of the glosses and the right to publish them from the Gra's heirs. Many mistakes appear in this edition, for two reasons. First, there were simple copying errors, and second, the glosses were misinterpreted. The glosses, which were worded in clues and hints, needed to be deciphered by scholars. Rabbi Israel of Shklov, the Gra's disciple, commented about Anton Schmidt's edition, "The Gra's glosses are the essence of Halacha, and were given to an uneducated gentile for printing." Moreover, the chief editor of the Vienna edition was Yehuda-Leib Ben-Ze'ev, a freethinking Jew belonging to the Enlightenment, who, according to the "Divrei Haim," was observed desecrating the Shabbat while working on the Talmud glosses. Rabbi Israel of Shklov edited the Gra's glosses on the Tractate Shekalim in his book "Tekalin Hadatin" (Minsk, 1812). These glosses were copied from the original source and sent to Rabbi Israel of Shklov who at the time was living in Eretz Israel. The copied glosses received by Rabbi Israel of Shklov were written in a copy of the Tractate Shekalim from the Slawita Talmud printed in 1802.There had been attempt to correct the errors of the Viennese edition in the Kopys edition of the Babylonian Talmud, however, these corrections were based on assumption, not on the original HaGra manuscript. * The Vilna Edition of 1880, printed from the Gra's original manuscriptThe Vilna edition of the Talmud, 1880-1886, is the crowning glory of HaGra glosses. The Romm publishers secured a team of scholars headed by Rabbi Avraham Aba Kleinermann to decipher the glosses of the Gra's original manuscripts. The team toiled for several years to complete this monumental undertaking.This Vilna edition, prepared by great Jewish scholars, contains corrections of many of the errors that appeared in the Viennese edition by Anton Schmidt. By using the original manuscript, the scholars were able to revise the glosses back to the original version. (eg, Ta'anit 28/a, was printed in Vienna as "ועיין רע"ב" while in the Vilna edition it was printed - as in the original manuscript offered here - "וערע"ב"). The sole advantage the Vienna edition had over the Vilna edition was that the censorship in Vienna was less stringent than in Vilna. See, for example, Megillah page 11a, where the Gra corrected the text twice to read "Roman" instead of "Persian." This correction appears in the Vienna edition and in the original manuscript, whereas it is missing from the Vilna edition. In the epilogue to the Vilna edition (end of the Tractate Niddah), the Vilna printers commented that they worked off the original copy of the Talmud that the Gaon studied and on which he added his glosses. This volume was in the possession of the Gaon Rabbi Yehuda Bachrach of Seini, author of "Nimukei HaGrib" and a grandson of the Vilna Gaon. Rabbi Yehuda was also referred to as "Gaon", like his grandfather. (Rabbi Ya'akov, grandson of Rabbi Yehuda Bachrach, writes in his book "MeHaIbur uMinyan HaShanim" (Warsaw, 1893) in regard to the glosses, "...In the four volumes of the Talmud which the Gra studied and in which he wrote glosses in his own handwriting... These belonged to the Gaon [Rabbi Bachrach], my father's father").* Evidence that the volume offered here is the Gemara from which "The Gra's Glosses" were printed in the Vilna printing press:A close examination of the copy offered here proves that this is the original manuscript. Much evidence is presented in the attached essay. Here are some examples: 1. All the additions and changes extant in the Vilna edition appear in the Gra's own handwriting presented here. 2. In some instances, the Vilna printers describe minute and specific details of the manuscript they saw in front of them and off which they worked. For example, Tractate Rosh Hashanah, page 23b, states in the Vilna edition, "This gloss does not appear in the original manuscript," and this is indeed so in the volume on offer here. In the Tractate Sukkah, page 7a, it states, "So it was heard from him [the Gaon] but it is not found in his handwriting..." and indeed such a gloss is not present in the manuscript. In Tractate Yoma, page 49b, the Vilna edition contains the words, "In the mean time are encircled" marking these words for deletion. In the original text, the words 'in the mean time' are encircled. 3. The words "With glosses from the Gra of Vilna, in his own handwriting" are scribbled in an old-style handwriting on the title page. These words were presumably written by Rabbi Yehuda Bachrach (see photocopy attached to enable comparison with his handwriting taken from "Nimukei HaGri"b").*The Gra's writing styleThe comments were written in the Gra's typical fashion, for example: (1.) Parentheses or a circle around letters or words to be deleted; (2.) A line drawn over the letters or words, to mark a deletion or change of version; (3.) Scratching printed letters for deletion; (4.) A symbol of three dots forming a triangle between or above words, to note a gloss or an addition of a new version; (5.) Marking words with the letters "Aleph" and "Bet", thus indicating a reversal of the order of the words in the text. The handwritten glosses of the Gaon vary, due to their being written over a span of many years (for example, use of clearer script when he was young and larger script when he was older). The change in his handwriting is particularly noticeable in the Tractate Shekalim, where he commented numerous times. Some of the comments, while being repetitious, are noticeably different in handwriting styles. Another particularly interesting gloss is the one written in two stages (proving beyond a doubt the originality of the glosses). This gloss is located in Tractate Megillah, page 13a: The Gemara writes about Moshe Rabbeinu, "Yered - this refers to Moshe and why was he called Yered? For he brought down manna to the people in his days". At first, the Gaon marked notes of deletion over the word "Manna," and wrote instead in the margin, "Torah." At a later time, the Gaon revised this first version. He crossed out the word "Torah," and marked parentheses to indicate the need to delete the whole section. He noted in the margin his new version, "Who brought down Torah to the people of Israel".It seems from the glosses offered here, that they were written by the Gra for his personal use only and that he did not intend to publicize them to teach others. For example, in Tractate Ta'anit, leaf 15b, the Gra commented on the word "VeTaku" by scratching the first letter in the printed text, thus leaving "Taku". This gloss is not easily discerned at first sight. (It exists only in the Vilna edition, from which, by the way, we can fathom how hard the Vilna printers had to work). If indeed the Gra had written his glosses in order to educate others, he would probably have implemented this deletion in ink, as in other places where he marked deletions using parentheses or with a line above the deleted letters. Hence, it appears that the glosses were meant for himself, for his own study.It is well known that the Vilna Ga'on did not elaborate unnecessarily in his speech and writings. His words were short and brief. It therefore requires much thought and knowledge to understand the depth of each of his writings and markings. In his glosses to the Babylonian and Jerusalem Talmud and Midrashim of our Sages (Safra, Sifri, Mehilta, and Zohar), the Gra transmitted to us entirely new understanding of the texts. Many scholars have studied and scrutinized every note of his glosses, many of which are understood only by the most advanced and brilliant minds. ConclusionAside from the immense importance of the autograph of the Vilna Gaon offered here, and apart from the tremendous significance of the new glosses that have not yet been printed, this volume is a significant source of information and knowledge to better understand his commentary. One can study the Gra's handwriting itself and discover new meaning and significance in the Gaon's words and insights. The above item description is based mainly on the opinion of Rabbi David Kamenetsky, a renowned expert in the research of the Gaon's writings. Rabbi Kamenetsky authored a 40-page essay about the very volume offered here (attached). In it, he compares in detail the differences between the written glosses and the printed ones, with tens of examples that were altered or omitted. Description of the Volume[1], 2-41 leaves; [1], 2-36 leaves; [1], 2-93 leaves; [1], 2-67 leaves; [1], 2-13 leaves; [1], 2-47 leaves. ca. 34 cm. Heavy, good quality paper. Good-fair condition. The volumes show signs of usage, including tears to some of the leaves, with adhesions. There is minor moth damage to several leaves. Some staining and drops of melted wax. The leather spine is damaged, no binding. (A detailed condition report can be provided upon request).

  • USAUSA
  • 2012-07-03
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DESC-A finely painted and very rare lobed blue and white Bowl Ming

DESC-A finely painted and very rare lobed blue and white Bowl Ming Dynasty, mid-15th century the fifteen-lobed, rounded sides rising gradually from a low wedge-cut footring to a scalloped mouth, painted in powerful tones of cobalt-blue on the exterior with two garden scenes divided by thick, billowing clouds, one with a two-tiered pavilion opening onto a fenced garden with twin plantain trees rising amid rocks and shrubs, an attendant bearing a scroll painting approaching a bearded scholar, with rolling clouds in the far distance, the other with the same figure now standing on a terraced garden overlooking a river, with an ancient pine tree and part of a balustrade opposite, between a key-fret border and a band of breaking waves, the slightly sunken interior with a scene of the scholar seated on a grassy shore contemplating a waterfall within a double-circle, the sides with a continuous frieze of lush trees interspersed with shrubs, comprising bamboo, pine, plantain and another tree below the rim with a diaper band, the countersunk base glazed white 30 cm., 11 7/8 in., condition report available Provenance: The Ataka Collection, Japan Exhibited: Ch_ugoku t_oji meihin ten: Ataka korekushion, Osaka, 1972, cat.no.64. Illustrated: Koyama Fujio (ed.), T_oki zenshu, vol.11: Gen Minsho no sometsuke, Tokyo, 1960, pl.63. Fujioka Ri_oichi (ed.), T_oji taikei, vol.42: Min no sometsuke, Tokyo, 1975, pls.61 and 62. This bowl is remarkable for its finely drawn decoration, unusual lobed shape and large size. The lively figure painting in the balustraded garden setting closely follows the painting style of the exquisite figure-decorated bowls of Xuande mark and period, which suggests a date early in the interregnum period for the present piece. Compare several Xuande bowls included in the Catalogue of the Special Exhibition of Selected Hsuan-te Imperial Porcelains of the Ming Dynasty, National Palace Museum, Taipei, 1998, nos.144-152. Another lobed bowl of similar size, also painted with figure scenes, but with a key-fret border at the rim, and with plain inner sides, from the Okura Cultural Foundation, Tokyo, is published in Ceramic Art of the World, vol.14, Tokyo, 1976, col.pls.41 and 42. An even larger bowl of lobed form, painted with various animals in a landscape setting with similar cascading clouds, and with a similar diaper border at the rim inside, is illustrated in Adrian M. Joseph, Ming Porcelains: Their Origins and Development, London, 1971, pl.34. Compare also three smaller bowls of this form, decorated in a simpler painting style: one with landscape scenes round the sides but apparently without figures, and similar wave and diaper borders at the rim but a star-shaped motif in the centre, also formerly in the Ataka Collection and now in the Museum of Oriental Ceramics, Osaka, illustrated in Ch_ugoku no t_oji, vol.8, Tokyo, 1995, col.pl.81; another with a landscape scene and a key-fret border outside and plain inner sides, in the Palace Museum, Beijing, illustrated in The Complete Collection of Treasures of the Palace Museum: Blue and White Porcelain with Underglazed Red, Shanghai, 2000, vol.1, pl.182, where it is attributed to the Zhengtong period; and a third decorated with the ba jixiang and a wave border outside and with plain inner sides, published in Ceramic Art of the World, vol.14, Tokyo, 1976, pls.43 and 44. Quantity: 1

  • HKGHong Kong SAR China
  • 2001-05-01
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THE SIBERIAN MOUSE. A PEARL, GOLD AND ENAMEL AUTOMATON MOUSE, ATTRIBUTED

Modelled as a lifesize white mouse with enamelled fur set with irregularly-shaped baroque pearls, chased gold ears and paws, round ruby cabochon eyes, the underside chased with diapered texturing, when a button below the perky mesh tail is pressed the mouse skitters, twirls and pauses to sniff the air and nibble in a most realistic manner, unmarked, one ear and bristle whiskers replaced, with later key The ‘Siberian Mouse’ is perhaps the most active and realistic in action of the small animal automata exhibited by Henri Maillardet in England and Ireland in the early 19th century. Of life size, this mouse darts forward, twirls nervously fearing a concealed cat, then scampers in a different direction before, reassured, it pauses to nibble at an invisible morsel and sets off once again. There is no doubt that the creator had plenty of experience in watching live mice. An example offered on the second day’s sale of Thomas Weeks’s Mechanical Museum in Tichborne Street, London, on 15 July 1834, following the death of its nonagenarian proprietor, was rather more succinctly described as: ‘An animated mouse, executed of gold and Oriental pearls, which runs about the table and feeds itself’. At that date it was considered an old-fashioned object and was purchased by Garrards for 24 guineas, which is roughly equivalent to half the current low estimate. Only eight or nine automaton mice are known to have survived and are now or were formerly owned by a number of important collections including the Bowes Museum, Co. Durham, the Sandoz collection, now at Le Locle, Sir David Salomons collection, Jerusalem, and the Patek Philippe Museum, Geneva. The current example which is known to have been in the hands of the present owner’s family for the last two generations at least, is not previously documented. All are set with graduated pearls but are enamelled in a variety of colours including pale blue, dark blue and dark grey. The present mouse with its white enamelled fur is a true Siberian mouse, whose grey fur was believed to turn white in winter to make it invisible in the snow.  Its actions appear nearer to Maillardet’s original mouse than the Sandoz mouse, for example, or that fomerly in the Ikle collection described by Chapuis, which only travel in one direction before stopping, sitting up and nodding their heads.  When Maillardet and his partner Philipstal exhibited their automata in London in 1811, a note on the handbill explained that the mouse ‘will surprise the visitor by its natural cleverness and its ability to run and turn in all directions like a live animal’ just like the present mouse. Although Henri Maillardet and his showman partners exhibited the small animals, and members of his family also exhibited similar automata throughout Europe in the first part of the 19th century, it is still not certain who exactly was responsible for their inception and construction.  Henry Maillardet is a well-known but rather misty figure in the world of automata in comparison with his more famous associates: James Cox, Pierre and Henri-Louis Jaquet-Droz and Jean-Frédéric Leschot. One cannot be sure whether he was more of a middleman, salesman and showman, or an inventor/creator of automats in his own right. Certainly, like the others and often through circumstances outside their control, his career teetered precariously between success and more frequent financial difficulty. Born at Meyriez in Switzerland, in 1745, Henri and his two brothers are said to have been trained in the Jaquet-Droz workshops before establishing themselves as clockmakers in the village of Fontaines.  Henry and Jean-David are recorded in 1769 as pendulistes under Huguenin working for Frederick the Great in Berlin. By 1783 Henri had arrived in London where a contract witnessed by James Cox was signed between Henry-Louis Jaquet-Droz and Henry Maillardet on 10 May 1783 establishing a London branch of the Jaquet-Droz business, called Jaquet-Droz & Leschot. Maillardet, then a bachelor, was employed to run the firm's London business and workshop in Bartlett's Buildings. The tools belonged to the two partners equally, Maillardet was to receive a salary of £27 annually and the same sum for each of the workmen or apprentices that he needed to feed and house. On the strength of this, Henry married Louise Mourer of Lausanne; their daughter, Louisa Henrietta, was christened at St Andrew, Holborn on 20 March 1785 and their son, Edward Frederick, on 21 August 1786. Success was short-lived as the firm was in trouble by the late 80s and in liquidation in both London and Geneva after Pierre Jaquet-Droz's death in 1790 and that of his son Henri-Louis in 1791. Despite the originality and craftsmanship of the clocks, watches and small automata created by the firm, they had invested too heavily in the China trade on their own account and in partnership with various London merchants and Cox & Beale of Canton. The years between 1791 and 1798 were spent by Leschot in Geneva and Maillardet in London, attempting unsuccessfully to recreate the earlier successes of Jaquet-Droz and Leschot. By 1798, Henri Maillardet seems to have changed direction and set himself up as a showman. He took over the former premises of Cox's Museum, the Great Promenade Rooms in Spring Gardens (Proprietor: Mr Wigley, 'Inventor and Manufacturer of Elastic Spring Bands'). Here, gradually acquiring new attractions, he showed his 'Wonderful Automatons ... consisting of the Mechanical Musical Lady; the entertaining Fortune-Teller; the pleasing Tumbler; and the wonderful Writing Boy, with the beautiful Singing Bird in a Gold Snuff-box. Also a Siberian mouse etc., etc.' Sadly, although apparently retaining a financial interest in the collection of automata for many years as it was taken on tour round Britain by various successors, Maillardet fell on hard times and died in penury in Belgium between 1827 and 1830. It is still disputed as to whether both the large and small automatons were the work of Maillardet himself, the Maillardet family or supplied to Maillardet by an unknown maker. Certainly from their style the smaller pieces appear to have had at least their beautifully-enamelled and bejewelled gold exteriors created in Geneva but whether the movements were invented and made by Maillardet as was traditionally believed, remains an open question.

  • GBRUnited Kingdom
  • 2015-07-08
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A royal german neoclassical gilt-bronze and porcelain–mounted guéridon

The circular top with a quadripartite border cast with trelliswork enclosing aporcelain plaque depicting a variety flowers including tulips, roses, peonies, hydrangeas, the stem in the form of a palm tree terminating in curled gilt-bronze leaves, on a circular dished base cast with a gadrooned frieze with a pierced gallery on flattened bun feet Comparative Literature: Dr. Ilse Baer, Table Tops from the Berlin Porcelain Manufactory (KPM) from the First Half of the Nineteenth Century, The International Ceramics Fair and Seminar Handbook, 2001, p.18, note 12. Emmanuel Ducamp, ed., Pavlovsk, The Palace and The Park, Paris, 1993, p. 136. Charlotte Gere, Nineteenth Century Decoration, The Art of the Interior, London,1989, fig. 259, illustrates a watercolour dated 1847 by Eduard von Gärtner of the Green Room in the Stadtschlöss, Berlin. H. Börsch-Supan, Die Kataloge der Berliner Akademie-Austellungen 1786-1850,Berlin, 1971, Nr. 1994.  This superbly decorated and cast guéridon table is a visually stunning representation of the art of exoticism in the form of a palm tree and is part of a group of seven or eight that were all produced at the KMP Manufactory in Berlin in the first quarter of the 19th century. All of them had a base cast in gilt-bronze in the form of a palm tree emerging from a stylised pot surmounted by a circular porcelain plaque. Three of these guéridon tables were in important aristocratic collections underlining their symbolic status. The offered table is listed in the Royal Account Book of King Friedrich Wilhelm III for 1819, and described as a round table top with floral design on a dark ground and a bronze stand like a palm tree. According to Dr. Wittwer, Director of the Stifung Preußische Schlösser und Gärten in Berlin, eight palm tree porcelain table tops were commissioned by Friedrich William III: five with flowers and two with grapes and one depicting a scene from Homer. These tables were produced in Berlin between 1818 and 1821, probably after a design by Karl Friedrich Schinkel (1777-1841) (H. Börsch-Supan, Die Kataloge der Berliner Akademie-Austellungen 1786-1850,Berlin, 1971, Nr. 1994). The account book in the KPM archives reveals that each table described as "a bronze stand like a palm tree" was gilt and priced at 236 Reichstaler, while the tops were priced at 100 Reichstaler each (I. Baer, op. cit., pp. 13-14). All of the tables, with the exception of the Elgin table discussed post, were decorated with a floral design of a `bouquet of flowers’ or a `ground densely covered with flowers’ as on the present example, on a white or `dark’ ground or with`coloured grapes’. They were made during the zenith in the history of the Berlin manufactory. In 1814, successful experiments with greens formulated from chromium-oxidul made a fundamental change in the technical process of painting views so that oil paintings could be more easily copied onto the table-tops and therefore appeared in greater numbers and according to Baer op. cit., `a clear improvement in and greater colour balance with a correspondingly richer palette can be established for the years after the War of Liberation’. From 1818-1850, a considerable number of commissions were executed by the manufactory, especially from the Prussian royal house for the Prussian Kings, Friedrich Wilhelm III and Friedrich Wilhelm IV, as well as people connected to the royal family and recorded in the `Conto Buch Sr. Majestät’ (His Majesty’s Account Book) in the KPM archives, although the name of the recipient of the royal gift was not always entered. Many orders without the address of the recipient were originally destined for storage to be drawn on by the royal house as and when required. The second table of this form `densely covered with flowers’ is at Pavlovsk Palace, in the dressing room of Empress Maria Feodorovna (1759-1828), see Duchamp, op. cit., p. 136, reproduced in figs. 2 and 3. This table was ordered in December 1818 for "Her Majesty, the Russian Empress, mother" and was a gift from Grand Duke Nikolai Pavlovitch, brother of Tsar Alexander I to his mother Dowager Empress Maria Feodorovna (née Sophie Dorothea von Württemberg). The Duke married Princess Charlotte, daughter of King Friedrich Wilhelm III of Prussia in 1817. It is possible that the offered table was a pair to the one at Pavlovsk, according to Baer, op. cit., p. 18. The construction of Pavlovsk Palace was initiated by Duchess Maria Feodorovna and Duke Pavel Petrovich (1754-1801) in 1781 after the birth of their first son. After her husband's assassination in 1801, Maria Feodorovna retired to Pavlovsk, which was partially consumed by fire in 1803. She employed Alexander Voronikhin and Carlo Rossi, amongst others, to head the renovations and the redecoration of the state apartments. The guéridon now in her dressing room entered the Imperial Collection following this period of reconstruction as a gift from her son Grand Duke Nikolai Pavlovitch. The Grand Duke (1796-1855), the future Tsar Nicholas I, was a major client of the KPM manufactory, witnessed by the magnificent table commissioned for his wedding in 1817, sold by the Soviets, Lepke, Berlin, November 6th-7th, 1928, and now in the Hillwood Museum, as well as his wedding service, neither of which were delivered until 1823. A third table with a similarly decorated floral top, the porcelain plaque signed Krüger 1819, was commissioned by King Friedrich Wilhelm III on May 15th 1819 and offered to his cousin Princess Luise Radziwill, as a birthday gift on 13th October 1819, daughter of Prince Ferdinandt of Prussia, brother of Frederick II and married to Fürst Antoni Radziwill, now in a private European collection, the top of which is reproduced here in fig. 4. A fourth table, also depicting flowers on its top, is currently in a private European collection. A fifth table with grapes on the top on a dark ground was commissioned and purchased by King Friedrich Wilhelm III on October 11th 1819 and offered as a birthday gift on October 13th 1819 to his sister-in-law, Maria Anna von Hessen-Homburg, who was married to his brother Prince William of Prussia, formerly in the same private collection as the one illustrated in fig. 5. A sixth was formerly in the collection of 11th Earl of Elgin and 15th Earl of Kinkardine, K.T. and sold Sotheby's London, June 13th, 2001, lot 325, the top depicting the blind Homer reproduced here in fig. 6. That table, inset with the mark of the Berlin porcelain factory, was gifted to Frederick William Augustus Bruce (1814-1867), son of Thomas Elgin, as a christening present by Frederich William III of Prussia (1770-1840). A seventh is depicted in a watercolour of 1847 in the Berlin Stadtschloss, destroyed in World War II-reproduced here in fig. 7. The attribution to Schinkel for this guéridon table rests on the reference to a table by Werner & Neffen exhibited in the Berlin Academy in 1836 (see H. Börsch-Supan, op. cit., 1836, Nr. 1194).The aforementioned table cast in bronze and gilt-bronze and in the form of a palm tree is stated to be after a drawing by Schinkel. The signature on the porcelain plaque may be that of Karl Friedrich Peter Krüger (1782-1832), who worked for the KPM from 1796-1829 (information kindly supplied by Eva Wollschläger). Karl Friedrich Schinkel (1781-1841): He was a leading designer and architect to the Prussian court in the first half of the 19th century and one of his first recorded commissions was a bed and toilet table for Queen Louise designed in 1809 for the Charlottenburg Palace, Berlin. He was appointed Geheimer Orberbaurat (Director of Works) in 1815 in the Prussian Office of Public Works which was the start of his career as an architect and he had the greatest impact on industrial arts and crafts and was concerned with the revival of historic forms and techniques and a considerable connoisseur and collector and was at ease in both the Greek and Gothic style. King Friedrich Wilhelm III (1770-1840): He was born August 3rd 1770, Potsdam-died 7th June 1840, Berlin, King of Prussia from 1797-1840 and the son of Frederick William II. The acceleration in the decline in Prussia’s prestige was due to his policy of neutrality in the Wars of the Second and Third Coalitions. His domestic reforms prior to his army’s defeat in the Battle of Jena foreshadowed his later reforms without altering the absolutist structure of the state. Until 1807, he clung to the traditional cabinet government and after the military collapse of 1806-07 and the loss of all the provinces west of the Elbe River, he finally realised that Prussia would have to make decisive changes and he therefore sanctioned the reforms proposed by the Prussian statesmen Karl Stein and Karl von Hardenberg, but these changes amounted only to a reform of the higher bureaucracy not of the royal prerogative. Throughout the War of Liberation (1813-1815), he remained a remote figure being always subservient to the Russian Emperor Alexander. In the crisis of the Vienna Congress over the partition of Saxony, he sided with Alexander I and thereby brought Prussia to the brink of war against England, France and Austria. The final compromise allowed Prussia to acquire the Rhine Province, Westphalia, and much of Saxony. In contrast to these territorial gains, the last 25 years of Friedrich’s reign demonstrates a downward trend of Prussia’s fortunes to which his personal limitations in no small part were the cause.

  • GBRUnited Kingdom
  • 2015-07-08
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François linke french, 1855 - 1946 an impressive and rare gilt bronze-mounted

Surmounted by its original fleur de pêcher marble top, the vantaux opening to one shelf, the lock has been removed to reveal the Clément Linke stamp, the proper left hand chute signed F. Linke. Original key This cabinet, which probably would be called a bahut by Linke, does not appear in his extensive archives, records that are almost certainly the most complete for any world class cabinet maker of any period or country. Knowing so much about his work makes such a mystery piece both frustrating and at the same time exciting. On some of his major pieces we know exactly who worked on it, in what discipline, what they were paid and who supplied, for example, the locks or marble slab. Initial inspection suggests that the present lot is an unrecorded variation of Linke’s 1900 exhibition piece the Bahut Louis XV Mars & Venus, index number 701, of which three were made but all seemingly the same. An example of this extraordinary cabinet was sold in these rooms April 29, 1998, lot 198 (see comparable drawing p.91 for the Bahut Louis XV Mars et Venus). Another is in the Casa-Museu Medeiros e Almeida in Lisbon. The third example is illustrated in Payne, Linke, p. 148, pl. 154. However, index number 701 is taller by approximately 20 centimetres so it is unlikely that the cabinetmaker who cut or debité the oak carcass was working from the same plan. There are similarities with the two 1900 exhibition commodes, Commode Louis XV Figaro (Scene du Barbier de Séville) and Commode coquille: Coquetterie et Modestie, indesx numbers 553 and 559 respectively but clearly they are not using the same cabinetmakers’ plan as the present lot. The handwritten mark ‘147’ in pencil is not an index number, or at least does not correspond with the Linke price list of 1900 which lists 147 as an encoignure. The use of hand written blue crayon and pencil names and numbers is not of course unique to Linke’s workshop but many of his pieces have been noted with a name and or number, usually  written under the marble in this manner. It is most probably an order number and if so, is a confirmation that the present lot is a very early piece by Linke. Although the accompanying red pen and ink drawing by Messagé is not numbered, the sequence of drawings does encompass page number 147 which however is a sketch for a clock case. This rare and probably unique commode in Linke’s oeuvre shows his ingenuity in using the expensive models for gilt-bronze mounts in different guises. Linke’s elaborate mounts were an essential part of his repertoire and brought him to the forefront of the Paris makers of meubles de haut luxe encapsulated in his spectacular Gold Medal winning exhibition at the Paris  Exposition Universelle. A highly trained cabinetmaker and a self-motivated entrepreneur, Linke realised that he needed an edge on his contemporaries to make a mark on the international market. This edge is now well documented in a chapter on his sculptor ‘Léon Messagé and the evolution of the Linke Style’, (see Payne, Linke, op.cit pp. 71-95), where Linke is thought to have worked as a young man in Paris with Joseph-Emmanuel Zwiener who had discovered the sculptural talents of Messagé. Messagé died relatively young age of 58 in 1901 at the height of Linke’s career having worked on all of the major items on the Linke 1900 exhibition stand. Thus most of the major gilt-bronze mounts  on Like furniture were designed and possibly executed no later than 1900 posing  a potential problem for Linke for the rest of his long career. Linke’s ingenuity and inventiveness overcame the loss of Messagé; he was able to purchase a quantity of Messagé’s drawings which had been either handed over to Linke in 1901 after Messagé’s death, or given to Goujon, the contre-maître of the ciseleurs in Linke’s workshop, a friend of Messagé. Messagé’s widow subsequently sold the rights to her late husband’s designs to Linke, thus securing the right for Linke & Cie to continue using his bronze patterns on their furniture. A number of Cessions de Propriété in the Linke Archives,  collated in 1903, are attached to photographs of his furniture, annotated by the individual craftsmen working for Linke under Messagé’s guidance, each man signing away his rights to the design, thus giving control to Linke. Many of the mounts used on the present lot were used by Linke in various guises well into the 20th century but the evidence of the accompanying pen and ink drawing suggests without doubt that the present cabinet was designed before the 1900 exhibition.  The drawing comes from a precious collection of Messagé’s sketches for furniture and other artefacts, some of which are dated as early as 1871, even before the sculptor was working for Zwiener. Recorded in 1842 as a sculptor in stone, Messagé was designing sculptural furniture mounts in Paris for the celebrated firm of A. Krieger et Cie. in circa 1867. There is no doubt that the red ink sketch is an outline for the present lot or possibly a combination of the exhibition bahut 701 and the present lot. Assuming that this folder of Messagé sketches all date from the 1870s as does the one of Boulle style furniture mounts (see Payne, Linke, p. 79, pl. 80) then the present lot is clearly a highly innovative design by the sculptor which was not able to be brought to fruition until his working association with Linke, one of the few cabinetmakers who was capable of putting such an audacious item if furniture together. Continued research into Linke oeuvre will quite possibly make more information available. The present lot is signed F. Linke in his habitual manner, in script to the proper left, engraving that is invariably in the same hand, normally by a craftsman called Hatard. The lock is stamped by Linke’s brother, Clemént, who worked supplying locks, keys and hinges for François in the 1890s. Normally the Linke locks by Clément are stamped with the Linke index number but not on the present lot. This would indicate that it was most probably a commission as it is often an indication that it is an early piece from possibly the late 1880s or 1890 as Linke often was making furniture for other makers until he became firmly established in his own right at the end of the 1890s, cemented by his Gold Medal at the 1900 exhibition. Another indication that it is an early piece is that there is no Linke mark or number on the reverse of the mounts, a practice adopted by Linke in later years so that they could be identified at the foundry. As well as the style of the bronze mounts, their placing is typical of the Messagé/Linke combination. The cabinet has all the other hallmarks of Linke’s workshops, the breche violette marble slab, polished at the back and the use of the satiné veneer and above all. The marquetry, probably cut by the faithful and long serving marqueteur, Labbé. At present the pencil  number 147, written clearly in a continental hand on the oak carcass, is difficult to reconcile. A folder of Messagé drawings in the archive are nearly all numbered, with the exception of the sketch for the present lot (see illustration right page), the numbers running to over two hundred. Number 147 in the folder (folder number 24) is for a Regence style clock case. As the early Linke daybooks are somewhat irregular and as Linke had clearly not evolved his sequential numbering system to the refined degree of the 1884 Daybook 2, the writer of this note suspects that the 147 refers to a very early Linke index or registre number that has subsequently been discontinued and substituted for the present item in the register, a corner cupboard. This would coincide, for example with a commode sketched by Messagé and made by Linke in December 1885 (see Payne, Linke, p. 83, pl. 85) and it is quite possible that the present lot was made at this early date. Footnote courtesy of Christopher Payne.

  • USAUSA
  • 2015-10-15
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A pair of george iii giltwood and japanese lacquer console tables

The rectangular tops above fluted and beaded friezes on two ogee supports headed with ram's masks, festooned with bay leaves and issuing from acanthus carved finials on ribbon and thread moulded and fluted trumpet socles and octagonal plinth bases This remarkable pair of pier-tables is derived from antique classical altar tables, the forms of which were most avidly promoted by Giovanni Battista Piranesi (1720-78), the celebrated designer and architect and engraver of Roman views. He was to publish a folio in 1769, Diverse maniere d'adornare i cammini ed ogni altra parte degli edifici, which included designs for tables, chairs, vases and chimney-pieces etc. The designs were overtly neo-classical and overloaded with antique motifs. The shape of the present tables and the inward curving legs are reminiscent of a table after a Piranesi design, in the Minneapolis Institute of Arts. Piranesi also published a design for a table with rams' mask monopodiae, reproduced by John Wilton Ely, Giovanni Battista Piranesi, The Complete Etchings, Vol. II, p. 902, fig. 829. Piranesi's designs, disseminated throughout Europe in the age of the 'Grand Tour' assisted in the development of the goût-Grec taste popularised in France from the mid-1750s. This was the earliest expression of the neo-classic taste that was to sweep across the continent in the wake of exuberant mid-century rococo decor. To find such a bold design in English cabinet-making of this date is a rarity and they must surely have been produced by a craftsman of considerable confidence and ability. The likeliest maker is John Linnell (1729–1796), cabinet-maker, upholsterer and carver. He was the son of the distinguished cabinet-maker William Linnell (b.c.1703–1763), joining his father's firm in the late 1740s. He studied at St. Martin's Lane Academy, which had been founded by William Hogarth in 1735, becoming closely acquainted with the emerging rococo design through his contacts with an international group of fellow students. His talent for design is apparent through the large number of surviving drawings, many of which are in the collections of the Victoria and Albert Museum, and was a large factor in the rapid expansion of the family firm in the early 1750s. In 1754 the Linnells established new and larger workshops, together with a dwelling house at 28 Berkeley Square, and at his father's death in 1763, John Linnell inherited a firm employing some forty or fifty people. At the forefront of fashion with numerous important patrons Linnell’s designs were frequently avant garde  and stand apart from many of his contemporaries. His transition to the neo-classic forms of mid-1760s was undoubtedly influenced by the leading architects of the day, namely Sir William Chambers and Robert Adam, with whom Linnell initially worked at Robert Child’s Osterley Park in Middlesex. The current pair of tables however demonstrate Linnell’s broad awareness of continental draughtsmen and particularly the work of Jean Charles Delafosse, an established teacher of drawing in Paris. Indeed, a bracket or console design published by Delafosse in Nouvelle Iconologie Historique of 1768 (see fig.2) displays similarly conceived curved and leaf-adorned supports headed by bold Greek-key scrolls and swagged with garlands. Linnell’s interpretation of this highly stylised form is reflected in his design for a console and pier-glass, inscribed ‘Eating or back Parlour’ of circa 1765 in the collection of the Victoria and Albert Museum (E.250 1929) and reproduced here as fig. 3, where again the bold Greek-key design curved supports and garland adorned frieze are evident. Linnell would not have been fully reliant on drawings from France, for the 6th Earl of Coventry, one of the firm’s clients, had acquired in 1765 from the French agent Poirier a bureau-plat described as ‘ un bureau à la grec…orné de bronze d’oré d’or moulu en bois rose d’amaranthe et filets sur les cotes couverts de maroquin ainsi que les tablettes’. This model was almost certainly an influence on the subsequent furniture in this taste supplied by Linnell to Hugh, 1st Duke of Northumberland for either Syon House or Alnwick Castle and Viscount Scarsdale at Kedleston Hall. These mirror the output of the advocates of this taste in France, ébenistes Jacques Dubois, maître 1742, and Philippe-Claude Montigny, maître 1766, see H. Hayward and P. Kirkham, William and John Linnell, London, 1980, vol. II, pp. 140-147. These tables were most probably commissioned by Arthur Hill Trevor, youngest son of Michael Hill of Hillsborough, for Belvoir Park, Co. Down or for his London residence. The Hill family established themselves as one of the pre-eminent dynasties in north Ireland during the 17th and 18th centuries. Sir Moyses Hill had originally accompanies the Earl of Essex to Ireland in the late 16th century. His descendent Arthur Hill was appointed Constable of Hillsborough Castle outside Belfast by Charles ll and this became the family's principal seat. His son and grandson, both called Michael, were Privy Councillors. The latter married the heiress Anne Trevor only daughter and sole heir to Sir John Trevor, Speaker of the House of Commons. They had two sons: the eldest Trevor Hill would inherit Hillsborough Castle; the younger   Arthur would inherit the Trevor family inheritance which included estates in Wales, and property in London including Powis House in Knightsbridge which stood on the site of Trevor Square but not till the 1750s. Arthur Hill had pursued a successful political career becoming an Irish MP then Keeper of the Records, Registrar of Deeds, Chancellor of the Irish Exchequer, and finally Commissioner for Revenue (1744-71). He took the additional surname of Trevor when coming into his inheritance and was ennobled in 1766 as Viscount Dungannon. He also acquired the Hill's other estate in the north, Belvoir Park, alongside the Langan River. There was no residence here as it had been initially laid out as pleasure grounds. Writing in 1744 Walter Harris noted in his Survey of County Down that Belvoir was ‘laid out lately in Taste; the Avenue is large and handsome, the Fruitery, from an irregular Glyn, is now disposed in regular Canals, with Cascades, Slopes and Terraces, and the Kitchin Ground inclosed with Espaliers, the best of the Gardens lying over the Lagan River, which is navigable to this Place. The Offices are finished, but the House not yet build.’ On coming into his inheritance Arthur Hills-Trevor decided to build a suitable mansion there. Quite an undertaking for a man now in his sixties but as Mrs Delaney who visited him at Belvoir in 1758 makes clear he was ' an original'. Writing to her friend Mrs Dewes on 1st October she remarks:  '...we came to this place about three o’clock, as this is indeed a charming place; a very good house, though not quite finished, and everything very elegant. Mr Hill is a sort of an old beau; who has lived much in the world, his fortune a very good one. he is an original...A fine gentleman is the character he aims at.' There is no doubt that Arthur Hill-Trevor was spending considerable time, energy and money on developing his estate. He commissioned the Dublin based artist, Jonathan Fisher to paint views of the house and grounds at Belvoir in 1763, presumably to celebrate its completion. One of these showing the house is reproduced here, (see fig.1), and the set of four views was sold by his descendants and owners of the current tables, at Sotheby's, London, 22 November 2007, lot 36. It therefore seems highly plausible that these tables formed part of the original furnishings of Belvoir Park. Upon the death of the 1st Viscount Dungannon in 1771, the estate and title passed to his grandson, also Arthur, but by the mid 1790s, he moved to his Welsh estate, Brynkinalt and Belvoir was left largely uninhabited and was eventually sold in 1808. The address of Lord Dungannon's primary  London residence remains a mystery, they seemed to have occupied a number of houses, owning Powis House in Knightsbridge and in the early 19th century developing Trevor Square. The 3rd Viscount is recorded as having been born in Berkeley Square in 1798 perhaps indicating that this was the location of a family house which would dovetail with Linnell's workshops and residence being in the same square. These tables are not the only piece in the Hill Trevor collection to be attributed to Linnell. Also surving are a set of chairs commonly associated with Linnell, having leaf-wrapped ball terminals to the arms further suggesting Lord Dungannon's patronage of this London firm.

  • GBRUnited Kingdom
  • 2014-07-09
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A gilt-bronze and patinated-bronze inkstand by juste-aurèle meissonnier

The patinated bronze globular spiral twisted inkpot with an acanthus leaf and scroll cast gilt-bronze cover above a boldly scrolled leaf cast base with running water motifs, acanthus leaves and two foliate and flower cast scrolled pen supports; one pen support re-gilt A full expertise is available on request from the department. It has been compiled by Fernando Moreira, International Expert Advisor in XVIIth and XVIIIth century Gilt Bronze and Antique Furniture, Supplier to the French National Museums, Member of the Grands Ateliers de France. Meissonnier and inkstands: This splendid encrier embodies all elements of Rococo opulence. There is a model in terracotta for an inkstand which can be attributed to Meissonnier, illustrated for the first time in the article by Dr. Peter Fuhring in Sotheby's New York, The Thyssen Meissonnier Tureen, 13th May 1998, catalogue p. 21, fig 14. That inkstand was created between 1730-1735, probably a few years before the present inkstand. The small holes on the underside of the terracotta encrier indicate that the original intention was to fit the finished porcelain inkstand onto a gilt-bronze base. The present encrier is made in the same spirit with the patinated bronze inkwell sitting on a gilt-bronze base, thus also combining two different materials. Another inkstand, this time executed in silver, was made by Juste-Aurèle Meissonnier in 1731 for the Comte de Maurepas who was Sécretaire d'Etat à la Marine. Thought the piece itself has unfortunately not survived, the design is known from an engraving of the side view (see fig.1). It is certain that the silver example was executed as it is mentioned in the record of a visit to Meissonnier's atelier by the company of goldsmiths in 1731 and more than likely referred to again in his demande de privilege of 17th November 1733 noting 'Un Dessein d'ecritoire'. This design does not only reveal similarly boldly sculpted scrolls and acanthus motifs, but above all the presence of a virtually identical spiral-twisted patinated bronze inkpot. Meissonnier and modelling the encrier: The artist almost certainly captured a leaf in a mould as the starting point for creating and shaping the present inkwell. Subsequently from that mould a detailed wax could be made. He then used several of these wax leaves together for his transformation, distillation and recomposition of nature. So once a wax had been poured and extracted from the mould, it could be bent and twisted at the artist's will, beyond nature's will, by slightly heating it in warm water. This explains how in our encrier the coquille, the water motifs and various acanthus leaves turn in space to create perfect imaginary C- and S-scrolls, encompassing all the latest aesthetic innovations. The harmonious orchestration between the rough shell, tactile simulation of water falling, finely chased leaves, rockwork in high relief and bold smooth scrolls on the encrier reflect its magnificent quality and inventiveness. The lost wax casting technique: The lost wax casting technique, or cire perdue, was used by Meissonnier not only in his bronzes, but also in his silver pieces. It was a complex process, but one which offered him total freedom in modelling. The very specific final result makes every component appear distinct with a clear separation between the elements. Meissonier undoubtedly favoured this technique as each demarcation creates undulating shades that play with and counterbalance reflecting areas, enhancing chiaroscuro effects. The technique consists of making a wax model round a core of burnt clay and enclosing it within an envelope of clay mixed with plaster. The whole is baked and the melted wax runs through a vent. Subsequently melted bronze is run in to take the place of the wax. The clay envelope can then be cut away and the core broken up inside. The result is a bronze exactly reproducing the original wax model. The technique ha sthe advantage of giving a very fine finish, of allowing the cast to be taken as a whole and of requiring the minimum of bronze. But it has the disadvantage of allowing only one cast to be taken. Further bronzes can only be obtained by taking a cast of the first one, but of course something of the original's directness is lost with each recast. The sharpness and crispness of the present encrier indicates that it is undoubtedly an original lost wax cast, and in this sense unique. Meissonnier and gilt-bronze in early 18th century France: There was a great revival of the use of gilt-bronze under the reign of Louis XIV. This probably originated with the installation of a foundry for Domenico Cucci at the Manufacture des Gobelins. This opened the door for Pierre Gole, Philippe Caffiéri and André-Charles Boulle to expand and develop their use of gilt-bronze. First found as mounts on furniture and around mirrors, artists further embellished their chandeliers, chenets, scientific instruments, accessoires de toilette and carriages with gilt-bronze. After a rather unstable period of melting gold and silver and a decree prohibiting temporarily the production of silver, silver and goldsmiths were looking for other less precious materials. Gilt-bronze lent itself marvelously to their needs, especially as the end result after the gilding and chasing is virtually identical in appearence to objects in gold and silver. It is therefore not unusual to find pieces that were originally conceived to be executed in silver made in gilt-bronze. Little is recorded about Meissonier's gilt-bronze production, but various examples survived which have been executed in both materials. By the early 1730's Meissonnier was conscious of how influential and desirable his designs were. Therefore it is thought that he might have sold off some of his drawings and sketches to be executed by other metal-workers. However, his own production really stands out next to contemporary objects manufactured by other workshops. The present inkwell is a living proof of this excellence in quality, finish and chasing which could only be achieved by Meissonnier himself. It is not known where Meissonnier executed his gilt-bronzes. Juste-Aurèle Meissonnier and the Rococo: The new style-the Rococo - took its name in the nineteenth century from the word rocaille, originally meaning forms of irregular shape and which were found in nature and often decorated garden grottos and fountains. The word never lost its original meaning and it was only in colloquial French that it was used to describe a new ornament inspired by the irregular or asymmetrical shape of a shell, and in a broader sense of leaves too. The present encrier is therefore a perfect early example of this Rococo vogue. Although many individual elements of the Rococo were already known, Meissonnier audaciously pushed the design to its extremes, surpassing anything known in the field before, replacing the hierarchic with an organic unity. The present encrier combines with supreme skill gilt-bronze together with bronze and a spiral geometric twist with a large loose realist leaf motif. Irregular, rather than regular shapes were preferred, replacing older symmetrical forms which were perceived as traditional and conventional. For a tabatiere of almost identical outlineto the present encrier, see fig. 3. In this sense his object must be looked at as pieces of sculpture. Jean-Bernard Le Blanc, when he spoke about the activity of goldsmiths in England wrote: "Le plus habile orfèvre de Londres n'est qu'un ouvrier. Un Germain, un Meissonnier, sont tout autre chose, se sont des dessinateurs, ce sont des sculpteurs, ce sont des grands Hommes en leur genre" (see P. Fuhring, op.cit., p. 422, no. 10). This remark is pretty telling and shows that Juste-Aurele's reputation rested upon artistry beyond mere craftsmanship. Also the element of water became very important in Rococo designs. Meissonnier made various designs where fountains and falling water were predominant elements in conveying this new Rococo style, (see fig. 2). Considering his various achievements, one can only conclude that Meissonnier belonged to a very small group of artists who were able to combine inventive design with excellence in execution and craftmanship. Juste-Aurèle Meissonnier (1695-1750): Turin Born in Turin on 17th March 1695, he was baptised the same day in the metropolitan church of St. Giovanni Baptista in the presence of his godfather, Giusto Aurelio from Nacona, and his grandmother, Maria Felice Farinona. Nothing is known of his godparents nor of their relationship with the child's parents, Etienne Meissonnier and his wife Antoinette Margerita Bavera (1672- before 1728). Etienne II Stefano Meissonnier (or Stefano as he was called in the Italian documents) was a goldsmith from Aix-en-Provence and son of Claude Meissonnier (1613- circa 1700), a master goldsmith and dealer. Claude himself fullfilled a very important role in the corporation of goldsmiths at Aix where he was garde and jure in 1680-1681 and again in between 1686-1692. In 1693 he returned his poinçon for reasons of age and failing health. Unlike his father, Etienne II is not recorded in the ledgers of the goldsmiths' company at Aix and it appears that he moved to Turin, the capital of Savoy, before he became a master goldsmith, at a time possibly coinciding with his father's retirement and shortly before the bitrth of his son, Juste-Aurèle. In Turin, Etienne II Meissonnier worked for numerous churches and distinguished clients. One of his masterpieces was a life size Madonna and child executed in 1716 with Giuseppe Balla for Countess Scarnafiggi. He also made in 1726 a crucifix commissioned by King Victor-Amedeo II as a gift the following year to Pope Benedict XIII. Very little is known about Juste-Aurèle Meissonnier's training as a goldsmith and metal engraver, skills he more than likely learned in his father's workshop. Juste-Aurèle first recorded commission was for the engraving of several dies for the Turin Mint, although none of the coins can positively be identified. Paris His second commission, to engrave the die for a medal commemorating the naval battle of Malaga and dating from February 1715, is much better recorded. It was part of a famous set of medals commemorating major events of Louis XIV's reign, called the "Histoire Métallique du Roi". This commission from the French Royal Mint testifies the Juste-Aurèle's presence in Paris in the last year of the King's reign. From 1715, young Meissonnier stayed in Paris, although it seems certain he travelled once again to Turin and possibly to Rome in the presence of Jean-Baptiste and Carle Vanloo. He must have made a successful start to his own career there as around 1718 he took a pupil, though we don't know exactly what he was supposed to teach him. What is important however, is that in the notary's document relating to the last payment for training Louis Dubois, Meissonnier is described as ciseleur and dessinateur, living on the Île de la Cité. The mention of this double activity is the earliest documentation of his capacity as a professional craftsman and as a draughtsman designer. At the height of his career From then onward his career exploded. Meissonnier started to work for major noble families such as Louise-Françoise de Bourbon, known as Madame la Duchesse, mother of the Prime Minister Louis-Henri, Duc de Bourbon, later Prince de Condé and owner of the Château de Chantilly; and for Louis II de Rochechouart, Duc de Mortemart, Pair de France and First Gentleman of the Bedchamber. In 1725, shortly after entering the company of the goldsmith's in Paris, Meissonnier obtained his first Royal commission. He was paid 7,000 livres for five gold sword hilts to be used as royal presents commemorating the marriage of Louis XV and Marie Lecszinska. It is in this same period that Meissonnier enlarged his activities by becoming more interested in related art, such as painting, stage sets and architecture. It is therefore not surprising to find him among the seven participants of the contest organised to find a successor to Jean II Berain, designer of the King's Cabinet. In December 1726, Meissonnier was appointed Dessinateur de la Chambre du Roi. This eminent position stimulated interest from many further clients. King John V of Portugal's commission to design the throne room and the throne itself at the Royal Palace in Lisbon confirmed Meissonnier's status. In the 1730's, the decade in which the present encrier was executed, the artist was at the height of his career and was able to boast considerable experience in all domains of the arts, from designing and making models in silver and gilt-bronze to mastering architecture and painting. Several contemporaries acknowledged Juste-Aurèle Meissonnier's genius, stating that he should be granted membership to the Royal Academy as an architect. But he faced the same problem as Thomas Germain, as it was impossible for a goldsmith to enter the academic sphere, as both their activities were rooted in manufacture and trade rather than in the fine arts. His workshop continued to flourish and he moved on from one success to another till his death in 1750. In the same year the Comte de Caylus wrote an obituary of the artist: "On peut assurer que les morceaux d'orfèvrerie qu'il est donne la peine de terminer, sont de la plus grande beauté...Il vouloit trouver du nouveau, paraître singulier, produire du piquant et en un mot devenir original et surtout ne ressembler à personne".

  • GBRUnited Kingdom
  • 2012-07-04
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The Blind Orion Guided by Cedalion

Long hidden among a group of Grand Tour bronzes displayed in the Duke’s Study at Syon House, despite its incandescent patina and luxurious Boulle base, the present statuette has emerged as a new addition to the oeuvre of famous French Mannerist bronze maker Barthélemy Prieur. The model was included as one of the touchstones of French bronze sculpture in the ground-breaking exhibition Cast in bronze: French sculpture from Renaissance to Revolution that toured Paris, New York, and Los Angeles in 2009 (op.cit.). It is a wonderfully executed study of the male ideal current in France in the 16th century and a scholarly exercise in illustrating lesser known classical myths. The finesse and technique of the cast suggests that the present bronze is the third version of this rare model that can be attributed to Prieur’s own hand. The other two prime versions are in the Huntington Library Art Collection and the Württembergisches Landesmuseum. The Musée du Louvre and the Metropolitan Museum of Art possess later casts. The base of the present bronze indicates a French provenance and therefore it is tempting to associate it with the missing cast mentioned in the inventory of Louis XIV’s famous landscape architect, André Le Nôtre, completed following his death in 1700. (Guiffrey, op.cit.) Barthélemy Prieur’s exploration of the indirect lost wax casting technique and his introduction of fresh subject-matter to Mannerist bronzes are key contributions to the history of European sculpture. Indirect casting enabled the Frenchman to preserve his wax models so that further casts were more easily produced. He could thereby disseminate his work widely and spread his Italianate Mannerist style north of the Alps. Being a Protestant, he endeavoured to translate into bronze imagery which was acceptable to Calvinist Europeans. Perhaps most recognisable are the genre bronzes of milkmaids, peasants and farm animals which on occasion earned Prieur a mundane reputation in recent publications. Contemporaries, however, praised Prieur’s learnedness and surviving drawings indicate a thorough understanding of classical antiquity. (Cast in bronze, op.cit., p. 103) His genre bronzes should therefore be seen in the light of moralising humanist publications and influential engravings such as Lucas van Leyden’s Milkmaid (illustrated in Raupp, op.cit., no. 2.2). His bronzes often reference statues from Antiquity but rather than merely copying ancient statues Prieur adapted the models, representing subjects discussed in contemporary scholarly circles (Cast in Bronze, op.cit., p. 135). The only indication of Barthélemy Prieur's education as a sculptor was given by art historian Giovanni Battista Armenini in a 1587 treatise on painting. It mentions that in the early 1550s, Prieur and another great French sculptor, Ponce Jacquiot, visited Rome before enjoying great fame in their country of birth. (Cast in bronze, op.cit., p. 103, n.2) The youthful Frenchmen had hired Armenini at that time to go round with them and produce drawings of the foremost antiquities and buildings. It seems that Prieur found work as a stuccoist and may have worked in the studios of Daniele da Volterra and Guglielmo della Porta in that capacity. Under the latter's guidance it is likely that Prieur gained experience with producing small bronzes. Sojourns in the circle of Leone Leoni in Milan and as the court sculptor of Duke Emanuel-Philibert of Savoy in Turin in the 1560s cemented his skills as a bronze maker and an international reputation. Upon his return to France in the middle of 1571 he immediately started work on noble and royal commissions incorporating major bronzes such as Virtues for the funerary monument to Anne de Montmorency (Musée du Louvre, inv. no. MR 1681) and personifications of the French provinces to adorn the monument encasing the heart of King Henri II. In 1583 an inventory was made of Prieur’s assets which mentions a large number of small bronzes too, several of which, including Neptune with three Hippocamps in Melun (inv. no. 802), can be identified with existing casts today. Prieur's ascent in Paris halted abruptly with the issue of the Edict of Nemours in 1585, which curbed religious freedom and therefore forced the Protestant sculptor to flee to Sedan. After nine years in exile Prieur's work was noticed by King Henri IV, for whom the sculptor produced bronzes for the rest of his career. Henri IV as Jupiter and Marie de Médicis as Juno (Musée du Louvre, inv. no. OA 11054 and 55) are typical works of this last flourish and a testament to his highly skilled casting and finishing of bronzes. Originally thought to be Netherlandish, The Blind Orion guided by Cedalion was first attributed to the French school by Jestaz on the basis of the inventory made upon the death of Andre Le Notre, which lists a bronze of the same description (op.cit.). In her note on the model in the Cast in bronze catalogue, Seelig-Teeuwen definitively attributes the bronze to Prieur and dates the model to the period prior to the sculptor's exile. (op. cit., p. 135) The tense musculature and elongated anatomy of Orion compares well to the two Funerary Geniuses from the tomb of Christophe de Thou begun in 1583 (Musée du Louvre, inv. no. MR 1684-85). The fine attention to detail such as in the rendering of the taut back muscles of the right Genius and the crumpled up piece of drapery in his hand is equally evident both in the Huntington Library cast that was exhibited (inv. no. 17.8; Cast in bronze, op.cit., no. 27C) and in the present bronze. It is worth noting the similarities with the later Henry IV as Jupiter too. Both are expertly finished and Orion and the King have similar sympathetic and expectant expression due to the wonderfully modelled furrowed brow. The confident stride forward, slight twist at the stomach, and the way the tight muscles are laid over the rib cage prove that Prieur could have equally created the present bronze after 1585. In addition to the present bronze and the cast exhibited in 2009, a third version of the Blind Orion cast by Prieur himself was in the ducal collections of Württemberg and is now in the Landesmuseum, Stuttgart. These three are distinguished from casts made by another founder of which one formerly in the collection of Louis XIV is in the Musée du Louvre, one in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, one sold at Sotheby's New York on 23 November 1987 (lot 86, $300,000) is now in the Fondation Bemberg, and one appeared on the art market in 2004. These latter versions seem to lack the finesse of the surface and therefore miss the striking details that give the present bronze its character, including the nicely rendered drapery in the hand, the drooping moustache of Orion and the subtle curls of Cedalion. According to the 2009 exhibition catalogue, which also featured the Paris and New York casts, the Huntington Library bronze is partially hollow and has a wax joint between Orion and Cedalion that is distinguishable in the facture while the lesser casts proved to be solid and have no such joints. (op.cit., p. 135) What sets the present bronze apart from all others is the downward direction of Orion's face, which means a significant alteration of the interpretation of the story. The myth of Orion features in some of the earliest known Greek texts. Homer let Odysseus encounter Orion in the underworld and Hesiod's discussion of the constellation named after the giant hunter equally contains the story. In most versions of his myth Orion is blinded by the King of Chios after raping his daughter and wanders the globe until he encounters Haephaestus, the smith god. Feeling compassion, Haephaestus instructs his servant Cedalion to guide Orion East where the rays of Helios, the sun, could heal him. 2000 years later, in Renaissance Europe, the story was admired for its association with rebirth, redemption, and even architecture and meteorology. Boccaccio was one of the first to give the story an allegorical interpretation. Prieur may have based his model on a passage by the 2nd-century Greek author Lucian of Samosata (De Domo, 27-29): "[Orion] is blind, and on his shoulder carries Cedalion, who directs the sightless eyes towards the East. The rising Sun heals his infirmity; and there stands Hephaestus on Lemnos, watching the cure." The fact that Orion's gaze is directed forward here as opposed to towards Cedalion in the other bronzes suggests a more literal interpretation of the story in this variant. Unlike most of the lots in the collection, the present bronze was formerly in the central London residence of the Duke of Northumberland on 2 Grosvenor Place. This house was acquired in the late 19th century after the forced demolition of Northumberland House on the Strand and furnished with many of the treasures from the latter. The magnificent Northumberland House was built around 1605 and stood at the far West end of The Strand bordering what is now Trafalgar Square, with gardens stretching to the Thames. It was the last of the stately homes to remain standing while the area was modernised in the 19th century, but after a devastating fire in 1866, the Duke finally sold the land to the Metropolitan Board of Works for redevelopment in 1874. RELATED LITERATURE J. Guiffrey, 'Testament et inventaire après décès de André le Nostre', Bulletin de la Societé de L'Histoire de L'Art français, 1911, p. 254; H. Weihrauch, Europäische Bronzestatuetten, 15.-18. Jahrhundert, Brunswick, 1967, pp. 365-366; B. Jestaz, ‘Travaux recents sur les bronzes, II, Renaissance septentrionale et Baroque’, Revue de l’art 9, 1970, pp. 78-79; P. Cros, Fondation Bemberg. Bronzes de la Renaissance italienne, Toulouse/ Paris, 1996, p. 124; Les bronzes de la Couronne, exh. cat. Musée du Louvre, Paris, 1999, p. 139, no. 205; European Sculpture, exh. cat. Daniel Katz Ltd., New York/ London, 2004, pp. 44-47, no. 12; G. Bresc-Bautier, G. Scherf and J.D. Draper (eds.), Cast in bronze. French sculpture from Renaissance to revolution, exh. cat. Musée du Louvre, Paris, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, and The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, Paris, 2009, pp. 102-147

  • GBRUnited Kingdom
  • 2014-07-09
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An imperial porcelain vase, imperial porcelain manufactory, st petersburg

Of bandeau form with flared neck and foot, the front painted after Shepherdess Milking a Goat (c. 1648) by Nicolaes Pieterszoon Berchem (Dutch, 1620-1683), signed in Cyrillic lower left V. Shchetinin and dated 1839, within a frame of ciselé gilt leaf tips, above applied flourishes forming acanthus anthemia, the sides and back ciselé with an elaborate frieze of acanthus scrolls and rosettes, the reeded handles with moulded foliate brackets and scroll terminals, gilt-bronze plinth, the inside of the neck with blue Imperial cypher of Nicholas I The three decades of Emperor Nicholas I’s reign are regarded as the peak of porcelain production in Russia.  He was an enthusiastic patron of the Imperial manufactory and was, apart from Catherine the Great, the Russian monarch most interested in the arts.  Foremost among the porcelain wares made during this period are the vases on which the central panels serve as ‘canvases’ for reproducing two-dimensional works of art.  Old Master paintings were favoured, though contemporary works, both Russian and European, if in keeping with the Emperor’s taste, were also copied.  Paintings were either brought to the factory for copying, or the painter-decorators worked in a room at the Hermitage specially reserved for the purpose.  Such vases were often produced for the Emperor himself, presented at New Year or Easter, or for a member of the Imperial Family, sometimes as part of a dowry, or as diplomatic gifts to foreigners.  Given the inscribed date of 1839, it is highly possible that the present vase was made for the dowry of Grand Duchess Maria Nikolaevna (1819-1876), who married Maximilian, Duke of Leuchtenberg on 2 July of that year. While the present lot is typical in that an Old Master picture is copied, it is somewhat unusual in that it seems to have been copied from an engraving.  The original painting by Berchem (see illustration below) has been in the Louvre since 1817, having been acquired on the London-Paris art market as part of the collection of Alexis Quatresols de la Hante (see V. Pomarède, ed., The Louvre: All the Paintings, 2011, p. 358).  Berchem was an especially prolific master of the Dutch Italianate style whose work was in great demand.  His popularity continued into the 19th century, and his paintings were frequently engraved.  Shepherdess Milking a Goat was engraved in the 19th century by the German draughtsman Johann Martin Friedrich Geissler (1778-1853), who is known to have worked in Paris until at least 1814 (see illustration below).  The Imperial Porcelain Manufactory had its own extensive collection of prints for use as sources, despite access to Imperial collections rife with great paintings from which to choose.  Working from a monochromatic engraving, Shchetinin was free to interpret the view with his own palette, rather brighter than Berchem’s original. Not a great deal is known about the porcelain painter V. Shchetinin except that he is certainly a member of the well-known family of painter-decorators employed at the Imperial Porcelain Manufactory which included Ilya, who died in 1864, and Petr, born in 1806.  Given these dates and that all three were active in the 1830s and 1840s, it is likely that V. Shchetinin was a brother of Ilya and Petr.  Petr Shchetinin also copied works by Berchem; he reproduced two Berchem pictures on a pair of vases presented to the Emperor in 1835; today these vases are on display in the Field Marshal’s Hall at the Winter Palace (illustrated, T. Kudriavtseva, Russian Imperial Porcelain, 2003, p. 161; and N. von Wolf, ed. V. Znamenov, Imperatorskii farforovyi zavod, 1744-1904, 2008, p. 317).  If the Emperor had a predilection for Berchem’s work – and certainly it is of a style he favoured – it is possible that the present vase was made for him, if not for his daughter’s dowry; at the least it is likely that he chose the subject to be reproduced on it. Other known works by V. Shchetinin include two vases at Hillwood Museum, Washington D.C., one painted with scenes from Ovid’s Metamorphoses, and a larger vase painted after Henrik van Steenwyck II’s Interior of a Gothic Church (c. 1604), a painting still in the collection of the Hermitage (see A. Odom, “Paintings on Porcelain Vases at Hillwood”, Antiques, March 2003, pp. 132-139).  A pair of vases, similar in scale to the present lot and currently at Peterhof Palace, is painted with harbour views, one by V. Shchetinin and the other by his colleague S. Daladugin.  A military plate painted by V. Shchetinin and dated 1830 sold, Sotheby’s New York, 16 April 2007, lot 126, and is similar to another military plate by him (illustrated, A La Vieille Russie, An Imperial Fascination: Porcelain, 1991, no. 124).

  • GBRUnited Kingdom
  • 2013-07-03
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Saint Barbara

The striking inventiveness and technical ambition which distinguish this large wood carving of Saint Barbara firmly associate it with Northern Mannerism, a movement that came to the fore in the Netherlands, France, and Germany in the first decades of the 16th century. The lavish dress, the incorporation of stylistic traits that derive both from Renaissance and late Gothic art, and the engaging expression of the female saint are all typical of the style. The idealised beauty and extraordinary quality that the sculptor attained here are only approached by a small number of Lower Rhenish wood carvings, chiefly a pair of angels in the Schnütgen Museum in Cologne dated to circa 1530. Otherwise Saint Barbara’s artistic equivalents are the paintings of great Northern Mannerist painters such as Lucas Cranach, Jan Gossaert, and Lucas van Leyden. Even though early sixteenth-century Mannerism is mainly associated with Antwerp, other centres in the North of France, Germany, and the Netherlands were important for the dissemination of the style. Encouraged by rich trade and extensive cultural contacts, numerous cities in the region saw an extraordinary number of artists organised in guilds, establish large workshops, and feed an expanding market for the production and export of art. The demand for a recognisable product stimulated painters and sculptors to develop a stock of figural motifs, compositions, and themes. Defining traits of Northern Mannerism include lavish costumes, vivid coloristic effects, imaginative architecture, and displays of technical virtuosity regardless of the subject matter. The personal form of religious expression that Protestants encouraged allowed these fashionable features to be flaunted by those artists who could render them. Elaborate drapery, headdresses and jewellery distinguish many of Northern Mannerism’s most striking female figures. The extraordinary variety of elements attained in the dress of Saint Barbara is echoed in the religious scenes such as Jan de Beer’s Birth of the Virgin in the Museo de Arte Thyssen-Bornemisza in Madrid or Jan Gossaert’s  Holy Family with Saints Catherine and Barbara in the Museu Nacional de Arte Antiga in Lisbon (inv. no. 1479). Among the most virtuoso passages of carving are the slashes on the sleeves of Saint Barbara. Similar sleeves with puffs of fabric pulled through the slashes and hanging from the cuff can be seen in Gossaert’s Mary Magdalen in the Museum Mayer van den Bergh, whilst the extraordinary heavy gold link necklaces and gem-set collar often characterises Lucas Cranach’s women, including Judith with the Head of Holofernes in the Staatsgalerie Stuttgart. In sculpture, Northern Mannerist female figures of the scale of Saint Barbara appear chiefly in Picardy in France, the Mosan and Lower Rhenish parts of the Netherlands and Germany, and Utrecht. In Utrecht the Master of the Utrecht Female Stone Heads carved similarly lavish saints with comparable dress but, as is the case in the Southern Netherlands too, the mannerisms are extended to the facial features (see, for example, Saint Ursula in the Catherijneconvent, inv. no. ABM bh252). Female saints carved in the Netherlandish province of Limburg around the 1530s do possess the idealised beauty of the present saint. Note, for example, the works associated with the Master of Oostham, Jan van Steffenswert or the Meester of the Fize-le-Marsal Calvary. Note specifically the attitude and the extraordinary crown of Saint Lucia of Syracuse by the latter master and irregular drapery schemes of the Master of Oostham both illustrated by Gerits et al. (op. cit., nos. 227 and 466). That being said, few extant statues from the Eastern Netherlands have the fluidity of the detailing of the present figure. It is therefore possible that Saint Barbara was carved outside of the Netherlands. One pair of angels in the Schnütgen Museum and which are thought to have been carved in Cologne around 1530 combines the variety of decoration, extraordinary interplay of fabrics, and beautiful facial features that also characterise this figure (see Karrenbrock, op.cit., nos. 73-74). The typically Gothic triangular folds that cascade down from the waist are equally playfully diffused while the lighter fabric of the undergarment is minutely crumpled. The bead decoration and Gothic canopies visible on Barbara’s hat and tower respectively are repeated along the hem of the angel’s chasubles. The fingers of all three figures are similarly articulated and arranged in a conspicuous manner; a trait which is again reminiscent of contemporary painting. One technical feature also compares well: the statues in the Schnütgen Museum are flattened on the reverse as opposed to hollowed out. The only departure from Cologne wood sculpture at this time is that other carvings are made of limewood whilst the present figure is carved from walnut. RELATED LITERATURE J. Gerits et al., Laat-gotische beeldsnijkunst uit Limburg en grensland, exh. cat. Provinciaal Museum vor Religieuze Kunst, Sint-Truiden, 1990, pp. III. 21, 24, 26, 48, 92, 133-134, nos. 227, 165, and 466; R. Karrenbrock, Die Holzskulpturen des Mittelalters 1400 bis 1540. Teil 1: Köln, Westfalen, Norddeutschland, Cologne, 2001, pp. 364-370, nos. 73-74; D. Preising and M. Rief, Mittelalterliche Bildwerke aus Utrecht 1430-1530, exh. cat. Museum Catharijneconvent, Utrecht and Suermondt-Ludwig-Museum, Aachen, 2013, pp. 286-287, no. 56

  • GBRUnited Kingdom
  • 2015-07-09
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Relief with the Crucifixion

This is an exceptionally rare example of a large scale German Renaissance relief in the fine grained limestone known as Rotmarmor. Details such as the rearing horse and its rider, the swooning Virgin, and the seated child alongside the gallant male figure are rendered with extraordinary sensitivity, illustrating the often overlooked achievements of South German post-Reformation sculptors. The relief is heavily influenced by the most important sculptor of the epoch, Hans Daucher, combining numerous elements of his work and other major sculptors of his generation into a wonderfully delineated and lucidly arranged whole. Surprisingly, the Crucifixion came into the possession of a prominent Portuguese nobleman in the early 19th century, the 6th Marquis of Marialva, whose descendants have looked after it for seven generations. German Sculpture of the later Renaissance South German sixteenth-century sculpture that post-dates the careers of Albrecht Dürer, Veit Stoss, and Tilman Riemenschneider has long been frowned upon by art historians and collectors alike. As outlined by Georg Dehio in his thunderous 1914 essay ‘The crisis in German art in the sixteenth century’, it was believed that the onset of the Reformation destroyed the progress of the distinctly German style that had peaked between 1490 and 1520 and halted the production of anything of importance after 1530 (op. cit.; see Chipps Smith, op. cit., p. 5). It is true that the reformers dismantled and destroyed numerous major altarpieces in bouts of iconoclastic fury and put a halt to the explosion of Catholic commissions that had fed the development of Late Gothic sculpture in previous decades. This fragmented Germany’s artistic patrimony and forced a great number of sculptors that had relied on assignments from the Church out of business. As such, the sculptural output shrank considerably and was far less triumphant than the great altarpieces of Stoss and Riemenschneider. On the other hand, the sculptors that did manage to cling on developed a fresh language of sculpture: the Italian High Renaissance was absorbed, secular subjects and portraits took a flight, the ever-changing Protestant attitude to religious images yielded complex programmes of decoration in private chapels and churches alike, and pockets of wealthy Catholics feverishly commissioned new sculpture to underline their religion’s pre-eminence. Major achievements include Albrecht von Brandburg’s Neue Stift at Halle, the chapel that several South German artists erected for Johann Friedrich, Elector of Saxony, at Schloss Hartenfeld in Torgau in the early 1540s, the cenotaph of Maximilian I in Innsbruck that took most of the century to complete, the fountains cast by the Wurzelbauer and Labenwolf workshops between 1540 and 1590, the astonishing portraits by Johann Gregor van der Schardt, and the sophisticated school of relief sculpture that worked in rare, fine-grained local stones from which this extraordinarily large and beautifully composed carving stems. The beginnings of relief sculpture in sixteenth-century Germany Reliefs are predominant in German post-Reformation sculpture. In essence the interest in strong outlines and exquisite details that characterise these reliefs was developed in Late Gothic woodcuts by Dürer and Altdorfer and, to a lesser extent, wood sculpture. Hans Daucher (1485-1538) was among the first to inventively translate this style into small stone reliefs. Daucher worked in Augsburg and decided to work independently from his father Adolf at the time of the Imperial diet of 1518, which led to an enormous influx of commissions from visiting and local aristocrats. In the decade following the diet, Daucher revolutionised and commoditised high-end portrait sculpture with his half-length portrait roundels of Philipp and Ottheinrich, Counts Palatine, and two reliefs of Emperor Charles V on horseback, all in Solnhofen stone (fig. 1; Schlossmuseum, Berchtesgaden; Landesmuseum Ferdinandeum, Innsbruck; and Musée du Louvre, Paris, respectively). For religious and mythological scenes he used the prints of Albrecht Dürer and Hans Burgkmair and often modernised them by placing the figures in architectural settings decorated with North Italian Renaissance motifs. The small reliefs are of such technical virtuosity that they are likely to have served as conversation pieces for collectors instead of having a purely religious or commemorative function. Despite his success in the early 1520s Daucher barely made it past the height of the Reformation, which was chaotic and often extremely absolute in Augsburg. In 1528, his wife Susanna was arrested together with 100 other Anabaptists and seems to have been deported in the following year. Daucher is recorded as a sculptor afterwards, but this event appears to have scuppered the rest of his career. Instead, the baton passed to Victor Kayser (1502-1552/1553), who was active in Augsburg around 1525-1540 but whose life is poorly documented otherwise. Kayser experimented with more cramped spaces and introduced anguished figures with angular facial features and drapery. Only about ten works by Kayser survive of which only Susanna and the Elders and Abraham and Melchisedek are documented works (both Skulpturengalerie, Berlin, inv. no. 2004). The small production and relative obscurity of Kayser may be illustrative of the uncertain climate in Augsburg at the time. Elsewhere, life for sculptors was better. In Eichstätt, for example, Loy Hering (1485-1554) and his sons Martin (1515-1560) and Thomas (1510-1549) profited from the successive patronage of three bishops who successfully protected the city against the Protestants for the entire first half of the sixteenth century. As such, Hering's workshop could confidently solicit the patronage of clerics and nobility from all over Germany and Austria, resulting in at least 133 stone altars, tabernacles, epitaphs and tombs produced by the workshop in Loy's time alone (Chipps Smith, op. cit., p. 57). Interestingly, this security seems to have stopped Loy Hering from being as innovative as Daucher or Kayser. Faced with Protestant reforms elsewhere, his Catholic patrons possibly sought to protect the Catholic tradition. His son Thomas pushed the envelope slightly further: his mythological decorations of the Italian Hall in the residence of the Dukes of Bavaria in Landshut from the 1540s are both more original and more dynamic than his father's work. Nuremberg provided a different kind of stable environment in the sixteenth century. As opposed to Augsburg, the response to the Reformation there was swift and without exception. All Catholic churches and monasteries were suppressed upon the adoption of Lutheranism as the city’s faith in 1525 and the city council managed to prevent theft and destruction of Catholic property by allowing these institutions to sell their buildings and objects (Chipps Smith, op.cit., pp. 37-38). Sculptors in Nuremberg had to adapt to this situation, limiting themselves to Protestant patronage and secular decorations. Peter Vischer's (1460-1529) thriving metalwork business was ideally suited to this type of market. It remained successful as it passed to his descendants, among which were his sons Peter the Younger (1487-1528), Hans (1489-1550), and his grandson Jörg (1522-1592). The variety of their output - which included not only reliefs but also candelabra, grates, and Germany's earliest bronze statuettes - and Nuremberg's staunch protection of its Rotmetal industry ensured a steady stream of work. The relief sculpture of Peter the Younger and Hans consists mainly of large bronze epitaphs populated by a strictly organised, small numbers of figures and in which depth of field is attained by imposing, but seldom elaborately decorated, foreshortened architecture. This scheme is repeated in Hans Vischer's overdoor relief of Christ and the Canaanite Woman made in 1543 for entrance to the Schlosskapelle at Neuburg and der Donau. This relief, now in the Bayerisches Nationalmuseum in Munich (inv. no. R555), shows how religious imagery could be appropriated by the Protestants. The story of the Canaanite woman, whose daughter is exorcised by Christ because of her unwavering faith, stresses the importance of persevering in one's faith, a major theme in Luther's lectures. The image therefore served as a moralising reminder for those entering and exiting the chapel rather than an idol (fig. 3). Important sculptors from the same generation as Daucher, Kayser, and the Hering and Vischer families include Hans Ässlinger (active 1535-1567), Peter Flötner (circa 1485-1546), Hans Kels (1480-1559) and his son Hans Kels the Younger (circa 1508-1565), Hans Schwarz (1492- late 1520s), and Christoph Walther I (active 1518-1546). The success of Netherlandish and Italian immigrants such as Alexander Colin (circa 1526-1612) from Malines in the second half of the sixteenth century illustrates the international character of German sculpture during that period. The Marialva Crucifixion and its influences The influence of Hans Daucher and the rest of the generation of sculptors active in South Germany prior to the Reformation on the Crucifixion is unmistakable. The use of Renaissance architecture to provide a stage and lend depth of field to the scene was pioneered by Daucher in Germany in such reliefs as the Virgin and Child with angels now in the Maximilianmuseum in Augsburg (illustrated in Chipps Smith, op.cit., fig. 235). The fantasy architecture in the background, which is simultaneously a brilliant exploration of linear perspective in relief sculpture, is a regular feature in reliefs of Solnhofen stone. Note, for example, the row of buildings preceded by an unfinished arch in Victor Kayser's Holy Family in the Louvre (inv. no. M.R.1730). Looking at the details from left to right, the influence of the earlier generation of relief sculptors becomes clearer: the figure calmly controlling his rearing horse on the left is clearly taken from Daucher's famous portrait of Charles V on horseback in the Landesmuseum Ferdinandeum, Innsbruck (fig. 1). Victor Kayser's linear treatment of veils and the foreshortening of the angular facial features of the mourning female figures as seen on the left hand side of Christ taking leave of his Mother in the Bayerisches Nationalmuseum (inv. no. 28/271) are repeated in the swooning Virgin and her attendants in the centre of the Crucifixion. Frolicking children such as the one on the lower right are omnipresent in the foreground of both secular and religious reliefs by Daucher and his contemporaries. The somewhat bored-looking child on the lower right was probably inspired by the unruly child on the lower right side of Hans Leinberger's Crucifixion from 1516 in the Bayerisches Nationalmuseum (inv. no. R171). Interestingly, the motif of a difficult child was more often recycled by following generations: Peter Dell the Elder included one in his Crucifixion in the Skulpturengalerie in Berlin from circa 1525-1530 (see Chipps Smith, op.cit., fig. 41). The pose of the child, in turn, is taken from one of the putti generally given to Daucher on the choir screen in the Fugger Chapel, Augsburg (fig. 2). Lastly, it is important to note the resemblance of the men to the right of the scene to contemporary medals. Many sixteenth-century sculptors, including Hans Daucher, relied on medals to produce likenesses of noblemen in relief sculpture (Chipps Smith, op. cit., p. 338), whilst other sculptors, such as Hans Schwartz, worked in both media. The face of the male figure that wraps a cloak around his fine armour in the foreground could have been inspired by a portrait such as that of Emperor Charles V on the reverse of Hans Reinhardt's 1537 portrait medal. There are, however, also clear differences between the Crucifixion and the work of Daucher, Kaiser, and other relief sculptors of the generation that came to the fore prior to the Reformation. The older generation's compositions tend to be less formal and more crowded. Drapery schemes are less classical, relying instead on the elaborate examples disseminated by Albrecht Dürer and Martin Schongauer. The extensive output of the Hering family from Eichstätt illustrates this evolution: despite some flourishes of Gothic drapery, the 1528 Epitaph of Erich I and his two wives in Rotmarmor by Loy Hering in the St. Blasius Church in Hannoversch Münden uses very similar unadorned architecture to frame a neatly organised group of figures (see Chipps Smith, op.cit., fig. 101). The Judgment of Paris by Loy's son Thomas from circa 1535 also shows the same clean spatial arrangement as the present relief despite retaining the ornamentation and body types of Dürer's stylistic language (Chipps Smith, op.cit., fig. 226). The Hering dynasty must have been of some influence to the sculptor of the Crucifixion though: the elaborate mane of a horse in Thomas Hering’s Judgement of Paris is close to the two horses here. Note also the resemblance between the previously discussed noble figure on the lower right and the marshal in the Epitaph of Konrad von Thüngen by Loy Hering from circa 1540 (Chipps Smith, op. cit., fig. 118). The clothing of the figures in the present Crucifixion is rendered by an interchange of large plains under which the shape of the body of the figures is visible, with sharply delineated and calmly undulating folds and hems. These folds lend a weight to the drapery that is far removed of the tour-de-force passages of drapery of Dürer and his generation. This treatment of the clothing is approached on several occasions in the reliefs of Hans Vischer of Nuremberg. The figures in the aforementioned large bronze relief of Christ and the Canaanite woman from 1543 are not only similarly draped; the faces, attitudes of the agonising women, the hemispherical curls that make up the beards of the men, and the single bearded figure staring straight out at the onlooker all compare well to the Crucifixion (fig. 3). Vischer's relief too is of a simple symmetrical design and framed in a single Renaissance arch with two putti in the spandrels above. Foreshortened architecture in the background adds monumentality and depth to the scene. The geographical proximity of the sculptors responsible for the comparisons outlined above firmly places the Crucifixion in Northern Bavaria, with the remarkable resemblance to Hans Vischer's work pointing to Nuremberg. The use of Rotmarmor is not common, but the Hering workshop from nearby Eichstätt used it at times, including for the Epitaph of Erich I cited above, whilst the Nuremberg-based sculptor Ludwig Krug (1488-1529) used the material for a relief of Adam and Eve after Dürer in the Bayerisches Nationalmuseum (see Chipps Smith, op.cit., fig. 248). The original location of the Marialva Crucifixion Despite the resemblance between portable reliefs, epitaphs, and markers such as Hans Vischer’s Christ and the Canaanite Woman, it is likely that the Crucifixion stems from a different ensemble. Even though Calvin and Karlstadt rejected the use of the Crucifix altogether, Crucifixion scenes were not only tolerated by Martin Luther and his followers but used as important didactic images, often juxtaposed with the Old Testament story of Moses and the Brazen Serpent (Chipps Smith, op.cit., p. 85). As at any point in Christian art history, reliefs of the Crucifixion were therefore at the centre of altarpieces, including that by Martin Hering in the Palace Chapel at Neuberg an der Donau (1540-1542) or the Chapel at Schloss Hartenfels by a Netherlandish artist (circa 1540-1544). The reliefs were generally set in classicising Renaissance architecture with a protruding frame and columns on either side further assisting the onlooker in submerging into the scene. More unusually shaped altarpieces, such as Hans Daucher’s magnificent altarpiece for the Catholic Fugger Chapel in Augsburg, include similarly proportioned stone reliefs with scenes from the Life of Christ placed alongside each other to form an antependium. Another object which regularly featured reliefs of the Crucifixion, were the pulpits. Given the emphasis on the spoken word in the Protestant Church, pulpits had special significance. Several grand examples were therefore erected in the 16th century, particularly in the third quarter. The pulpit installed around 1555 and 1560 in Schleswig cathedral, the sandstone pulpit in the chapel of Celle Palace of 1565 by an unknown artist, and Hanns Ruprecht Hoffmann’s (1543-1616) pulpit for Trier Cathedral that dates between 1569 and 1572 are all decorated with reliefs of the Crucifixion of a size comparable to our Crucifixion (Chipps Smith, op.cit., figs. 71, 72, and 79). The present relief could have been removed from its original setting on numerous occasions before it appeared in the collection of the 6th Marquis of Marialva in 1817, but chances are that it was taken shortly after being made. The Reformation kept the interiors of many churches and chapels in a constant state of upheaval throughout the sixteenth century. Dismembered Catholic altarpieces were sold from Nuremberg as late as 1543 (Chipps-Smith, op.cit., p.38) whilst in Augsburg, churches converted to Protestantism between 1534 and 1537 reverted to Catholic use from 1548 onwards, when a restitution edict was agreed between the city and the cardinal-bishop.  Despite the refitting of numerous churches the prince-cardinal himself ensured that any objects that could be considered idols were removed from Augsburg afterwards (Chipps-Smith, op.cit., pp. 40-41). The Peace of Augsburg in 1555 and the conclusion of the Council of Trent ten years later each caused further renovations of the churches of Germany. The Crucifixion in Portugal By family tradition the present relief was a given by Pope Pius VII to Dom Pedro José Vito de Menezes , the 6th Marquis of Marialva, in 1817, for services rendered during his time as the Portuguese Ambassador in France. The Marquis often defended the interests of the Pope and the Holy See during his time at the courts of Napoleon and Louis XVIII and was therefore held in high regard by the Catholic community (fig. 4; Bordallo Pinheiro, op.cit.). Significantly, the Marquis was also Ambassador Extraordinary to the Court in Vienna in 1817, where he charged with the preparations of the celebrations of the marriage Prince Pedro of Portugal and Leopoldina, the Archduchess of Austria. The 6th Marquis of Marialva came from one of the three foremost noble families in Portugal.  According to Beckford the family was granted a special status during the Marquis de Pombal’s persecution of the Portuguese high nobility. The King told Pombal: ‘Act as you judge wisest with my nobility but beware how you interfere with the Marquis of Marialva’ (quoted in Delaforce, op.cit., p. 331). Another of Beckford’s accounts paints an exotic picture of the palace of the 5th Marquis de Marialva: ’swarms of musicians, poets, bull-fighters, grooms, monks, dwarfs, and children of both sexes, fantastically dressed’ (ibid., p. 331). The family collection contained an extraordinary number of paintings including ‘many capital works by Rubens and the first Masters’ (ibid., p. 332). Descriptions of further properties owned by the family speak of extraordinary chinoiserie decorations by Pillement and a grand arch built to impress the Prince and Princess of Brazil in 1802 among other marvels. The 6th Marquis is remembered as a patron of contemporary artists and for the impressive collection he gathered in Paris. His broad collection included a Raphael acquired in Vienna and works by Rembrandt, Van Ruysdael, Greuze, and Vernet. Marialva intended to bring the collection back to Portugal for the education of its people, but most of the group was auctioned in Paris upon the Marquis’ death in 1824 (ibid., p. 332). The Crucifixion was thankfully not dispersed and passed to Dom Nuno de Mendoça de Moura Barreto, the 1st Duke of Loulé (1804-1875) and his wife, the daughter of King Dom João VI. The Duke was an important statesman, serving as prime-minister under Kings Dom Pedro V and Dom Luis I. His interest in the arts is mainly illustrated by his induction in the Royal Association of Portuguese Architects and Archeologists as its first amateur member in 1864. Four years later he lent the present relief to this institution for display in its museum in the medieval Carmo Convent, now known as the Museu Arqueológico do Carmo, and it was returned to the Loulé family in June 1927.   RELATED LITERATURE G. Dehio, ‘Die Krisis der deutschen Kunst im Sechzehnten Jahrhundert’, Archiv für Kulturgeschichte 12, 1914, pp. 1-16; E.F. Bange, La piccola scultura in legno e pietra del Rinascimento tedesco, Milan, 1936, pls. 4, 5 ,8, 9, 22, 23, 51, and 109; T. Müller, Die Bildwerke in Holz, Ton und Stein von der Mitte des XVI. Jahrhunderts, cat. Bayerischen Nationalmuseums, Munich, 1959, no. 286; Die Renaissance im deutschen Südwesten zwischen Reformation und Dreissigjährigem Krieg, exh. cat. Badisches Landesmuseum Karlsruhe, 1986, vol. II, pp. 549-552, and p. 593, no. K50; J. Chipps Smith, German sculpture of the later Renaissance c. 1520-1580. Art in an age of uncertainty, Princeton, 1994; A. Delaforce, Art and patronage in eighteenth-century Portugal, Cambridge, 2002

  • GBRUnited Kingdom
  • 2015-07-08
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An important George III mahogany library breakfront bookcase, centered below by a pedestal library writing table

An important George III mahogany library breakfront bookcase, centered below by a pedestal library writing table circa 1770, With a conforming molded stepped fretted arcade ornamented cornice supporting four mahogany urns, the base carved with stiff leaves above turned socles, the frieze with fluted decoration and carved with patera, the four glazed below with geometric glazed panels with molded astragals, enclosing adjustable shelves, the lower central shelf fitted with false leather-bound book spines concealing fitted apothecaries cabinets with small drawers and shelves, some lined with baize, and fitted with numerous drug jars with manuscript labels, with a central turned stand with pulley supports, possibly for a scale, and a separate brass and steel scale with small sovereign and drug weights, the projecting lower half with fluted molding at the waist, with a door at each side with fielded panels veneered with highly figured mahogany, the re-entrant corners with carved paterae, each enclosing four drawers with gilt-brass handles on plinth supports, flanking an opening fitted with a free-standing pedestal library writing table, with a leather-lined top fitted with a rising flap at the back, above a long drawer opening to a baize-lined writing slide inset with a rising book support on a ratchet, and sliding back to reveal several small open compartments, drawers and concealed drawers, above a kneehole with an arched apron ornamented with carved swags of husks and paterae, the flanking pedestals each fitted with two drawers and supported on molded plinths, the sides with foliate cast carrying handles, the back paneled. Height 8ft. 10in.; length 8ft. 7in.; depth 26in. 81.9cm; 128.9cm; 66cm

  • USAUSA
  • 2006-04-05
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A highly important and monumental Meissen allegorical garniture representing the Elements circa 1748

A highly important and monumental Meissen allegorical garniture representing the Elements circa 1748 Modelled by Johann Joachim Kaendler, emblematic of the Elements, comprising Air: as a pierced ovoid basketwork vase modelled with rocailles edged in gilding and puce and a similar scroll handle with coloured feathers at the base, mounted on a scroll-moulded base applied with a winged putto with blown-up cheeks and holding a bellows, the cover modelled with gilt- and purple-edged scrollwork and clouds enclosing a finial embellished in gilding; Water: as an ovoid basketwork eel-trap with a flared neck flanked by water reeds, applied with a putto at the shoulder holding an eel emerging from the cage through a door, mounted on a similar flared base with reeds and moulded with water, applied with another putto holding a net filled with fish and eels and a fish in the right hand; Earth: as a rocky outcrop applied with branches and leaves, including a tree-trunk handle to one side with a squirrel perched on the top, a bear perched on a rocky ledge eating leaves on the opposite side, the cover modelled as a high rocky mound applied with leaves and grasses and two eagles and a leafy tree to the side, all mounted on a base of grassy rockwork and gilt-edged rocailles, applied with a putto digging with a spade and a crocodile advancing on a nesting bird at the rear; Fire: as an ovoid vessel bound with cords, moulded with flames and applied all over with shoots of flame issuing from apertures, applied on one side with a winged dragon and on the other with a gilt-edged rocaille handle, the cover similarly modelled with a finial composed of a burst of flames, mounted on a base of gilt-edged rocailles applied with a putto holding a flaming torch, Air: 82cm high; Water: 73.5cm high; Earth: 87.5cm high; Fire: 83cm high, crossed swords marks in underglaze-blue to edge of bases of Fire, Air and Water (some damage and restoration) (7)

  • GBRUnited Kingdom
  • 2010-12-08
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Porcelain & Pottery

Items made of porcelain, earthenware, stoneware and faience from every country are found under the category Porcelain & Pottery. Plates, cups, antique vases, tableware, china figurines and Chinese serving dishes are just some of the items that can be found up for auction under this heading.