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Psyché et l'Amour (Cupid and Psyche), a monumental carved marble figural

Barbetti was a student of Ulisse Forni and went to Florence to work in the studio of Forni's father, where he specialized mostly in woodcarving. In 1887, he was commissioned to do a bas-relief of the Old Testament for the church of Nottingham. Outside of such ecclesiastical subjects, the sculptor's work, like that of his fellow artists, was often inspired by mythological tales or stories from the Antique, which enjoyed a considerable vogue in the mid- to late 19th century. The excavation of ancient archeological sites initiated a newfound respect and admiration for the arts of ancient Greece and Italy. Key treatises on the subject circulated, while museum exhibitions and touring shows enticed visitors with mysterious, never-before-seen artifacts. Amidst more "realistic" figures and studies, classical mythology began to pervade popular culture. Among images of satyrs and nymphs and heroes, the tale of "Cupid and Psyche" became one of the most popular motifs, allowing artists and art-lovers to celebrate immortal and indomitable love. The story became famous in the second century A.D. in Apuleius' The Golden Ass. One of the king's three daughters, the beautiful Psyche, drew even more admirers than Aphrodite. In a jealous fit, the love goddess sent her son Cupid (or Eros) to earth to cause Psyche to fall in love with a gruesome man. Falling in love with Psyche himself, Cupid set forth a new plan to send her into hiding, visiting her each night, his identity hidden under cover of darkness. The plan was foiled soon after Psyche, curious to see the face of her anonymous suitor, snuck upon the sleeping Cupid one night, a drop of oil falling from her lamp, startling him awake and causing him to flee. Hoping to regain his love, Psyche implored Aphrodite's forgiveness. Aphrodite then set before her four seemingly impossible tasks. Succeeding with three, Psyche failed at the last challenge, in which she had to travel to Hades and return with Persephone's box of beauty ointments. Though forbidden to look inside, Psyche opened it, releasing vapors that caused her to fall into a deep sleep. At this fatal moment Cupid appeared, taking Psyche into his arm, and raising her to Olympus so that she could be granted immortality. It is this penultimate moment that Barbetti captures in his monumental sculpture group, drawn directly from William Bouguereau’s Psyché et l'Amour (fig. 1) and almost certainly authorized by the master himself. Painted in 1889 and commissioned by Mr. Paumure Gordon of Hatton Court, London, Bouguereau’s Psyché et l'Amour was exhibited at the 1889 Paris Salon under number 330. (The work has been at the Tasmanian Art Museum and Gallery, Hobart, Tasmania since 1949.) Bouguereau may have been looking at particularly well-known examples by Antonio Canova executed between 1787 and 1793 and held in the Musée du Louvre, Paris. Ferdinando Vichi and Giulio Bergonzoli both executed similar compositions in marble. In Barbetti's work, Cupid, youthful with his head of loosely curled ringlets, smooth skin, lithe musculature, and large wings, gracefully supports the lovely Psyche, her long, flowing hair intermingling with her drapery, her delicate butterfly wings limp against her back, as the pair ride Zyphyr's wind toward the heavens. Despite the massive marble form, the carved, delicately swirling clouds surrounding Cupid's legs and Psyche's limp feet, floating in empty space, create a feeling of weightlessness. This remarkable depiction of the pair in mid-flight was a departure from other sculptors' examples, which placed them standing together on the ground or collapsed in an embrace on earth. It is clear that Barbetti's exquisite craftsmanship is evidenced in every detail, engendering a truly mesmerizing, tour-de-force of carving. The composition is an idealized form that perfectly encapsulates the appeal of the story, long considered an allegory for the soul's desire for love. Here Cupid, with his white dove-like wings, personifies soaring love, while Psyche, which translates (in Greek) to both "soul" and "butterfly," bears the delicate wings of the latter.   Signed R. Barbetti / Pietrasanta / 1900. Italy

  • USAUSA
  • 2014-10-29
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An important george iii mahogany library table attributed to thomas

Bearing a printed and manuscript label: J. GRAVES & SON,/ 294 to 312 MOSELEY ROAD / BIRMINGHAM / Lewis 30/7/31 76 The design for this important mahogany library table is closely related to plate LXXXIV shown in Chippendale's Director of 1762. Dated 1760, the engraving illustrates the overall profile of the present desk together with almost identically designed carving to the apron below the central drawer. The door panels to the pedestals are shown with alternate designs, one carved with an oval wreath of palm leaves, the other with a carved rococo cartouche centered by a key-hole, whereas the present example has rectangular figured panels within molded frames, the corners with foliate clasps centered by cabochons. In other respects, the design is identical, with the finely constructed re-entrant corners and conforming stepped molded plinth. The piece retains its original locks, all of which have S-shaped keyholes, an unusual feature which appears on a number of documented pieces by Chippendale including a library bookcase supplied to Sir Penistone Lamb for the library at Brocket Hall (Gilbert op. cit. figs. 77, 80 and 267), and on the Martin library table (see:Sotheby's, New York, October 21, 2004). Features of the present table which appear on other tables including the one formerly at Harewood House and now at Temple Newsam, the Nostell Priory table and the Martin table, are the construction of the center drawer, the carving appearing to be an integral part of the complete construction of the frieze and the complicated construction of the inset corners.     See: Thomas Chippendale, The Gentleman and Cabinet-Maker's Director, London, Third Edition, 1762, plate LXXXIV, dated 1760 R. Edwards and M. Jourdain, Georgian Cabinetmakers, London, 1946, p. 126, fig 76, for a library table of the same design, but with more elaborate carving C. Gilbert, The Life and Work of Thomas Chippendale, London, 1978, vol. II, figs. 77, 80, 267

  • USAUSA
  • 2013-10-23
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A gilt-bronze-mounted ivory, polychrome stained horn and mother-of-pearl

With a bowed gilt-bronze-banded top centred by a roundel depicting figures hunting rabbits in a landscape flanked by latticework cartouches suspending floral swags with squirrels eating nuts in the manner of Jean Berain and strapwork and scrolling foliage, with a flower-filled vase at each front corner, above two short and two long drawers inlaid with a vase of flowers flanked by scrolling foliage with spirally-twist handles terminating in a foliate cast backplate, the corners mounted with a bearded male mask entwined by a serpent and with bat's wings and scrolls, the sides similarly decorated and inlaid with a geometric cartouche, the whole applied with gilt-bronze trelliswork banding throughout on scrolled foliate cast feet This sumptuous boulle commode with its exquisitely inlaid top, distinctive gently bowed form, curved corners and intricate boulle marquetry composed of rinceaux and cartouches with engraved tortoiseshell and stained horn is attributable to Nicolas Sageot (1666-1731), due to its striking similarities to other pieces either stamped by or attributable to him. It belongs to a group of boulle commodes which traditionally have always been attributed to another of his contemporaries Noël Gérard. However, the discovery of Sageot's stamp in 1999, on the Clumber Park commode, see post, has resulted in the realisation that he has been responsible for this group of boulle commodes and not Gérard. Furthermore, other factors lead one to this conclusion, including the increased importance of the marchand-merciers in the early years of the 18th century, as Sageot and Gérard were dealers as well as ébénistes, therefore, it is reasonable to assume that they sub-contracted either the whole or part of the production of these commodes to other marqueteurs. The influence of Jean Bérain (1637-1711) cannot be understated and is reflected in the whimsical and fluid designs inlaid over most of the offered lot. Bérain’s work is legendary and he was one of the pivotal figures in the creation of the Louis XIV style. There is a lightness of touch and attention to minute detail in his work which may come from the very start of his career when he produced designs for the metal components on small arms and locks-it demonstrates an understanding of not only the limitations of the engraver but how much these specialist metal workers were capable of achieving through the excellence of design. His printed designs have a theatricality which is perhaps derived from 1674 when he was Architecte Dessinateur de la Chambre et du Cabinet du Roi, as in this role he produced designs for festivals, ballets and other festive diversions. Bérain's work was widely disseminated and on the year of his death in 1711, a collection of his engraved designs was published in Paris, Oeuvre de Jean Bérain, Recueillies par les Soins du Sieur Thuret. Apart from set designs and engraved metal work, his influence can be seen in architecture, works of art, ceramics and tapestries from the Beauvais manufactory. It is also worthwhile considering the top of a boulle marquetry bureau plat in the Wallace collection, London, illustrated by Hughes, op. cit., p. 793 (no. 169 (F60)) with virtually identical marquetry and a roundel depicting the rabbit hunt scene in reverse to that on the top of this commode, reproduced here in fig. 1. Although a mid 19th century transformation of a boulle marquetry commode circa 1715, the top of the original commode now forms the central part of the top with virtually identical marquetry and a roundel depicting the rabbit hunt scene in reverse to that on the top of this commode. The same author also states that a chest of drawers stamped AG for Aubertin Gaudron (active 1690-1700) had a top of the same design as the central part of the top of the Wallace bureau plat only in première-partie and with the rabbit hunt scene in reverse. The Nicholas Sageot attribution: This commode is of a model which Grand, op. cit., cites no fewer than forty examples recorded in contemporary collections. Furthermore, the marqueteur Toussaint Devoye, who was close to Sageot both personally and professionally, was known to have manufactured boulle marquetry panels. This group of commodes have similar marquetry on the front and sides with the variation being in the design of the tops and the gilt-bronze mounts. As already stated, this group were traditionally attributed to Noel Gérard on the basis of similarities with a palissander commode stamped NG of almost identical design formerly in the collection of Madame Camoin, sold at Hôtel Drouot, Paris, 2nd April 1987, lot 133 and two other marquetry commodes, one sold Sotheby's, Monaco on 25th June 1983, lot 290, the top of which was decorated with a central oval with a bacchanalian scene and the other from the Kotschoubey collection, sold on 13th June 1906, lot 382, which had a marquetry top with a river scene in its central oval and similar marquetry on the drawers to that on this commode. Furthermore, there is a commode from this group in première-partie boulle marquetry stamped N Sageot which was formerly in the collection of the Dukes of Newcastle at Clumber Park, Nottinghamshire, with a different marquetry top but with identical corner mounts and feet and decorated with flower-filled urns on the drawer fronts, sold Christie’s, London, 16th December 1999, lot 50 (£287,500). More recently there has been a very similar commode to this example in polychrome horn and tortoiseshell première-partie boulle marquetry by Nicholas Sageot, stamped twice NS sold from the collection of Gregory de Ligne at Harlaxton Manor, lot 8, The Exceptional sale, Christie’s, London, 5th July 2012. It has similar masks on the top and flower-filled baskets, identical marquetry on the sides and drawers and feet mounts, but the decoration of the top varies as do the rest of the mounts. Comparable boulle marquetry commodes: -A commode in tortoiseshell and brass contre-partie boulle marquetry then attributed to Gerard, though almost certainly by Sageot, in view of recent research, from the collection of the Earl of Elgin and 15th Earl of Kincardine, K.T., sold Sotheby's, London 13th June 2001, lot 253 (£270,000). It had a virtually identical design on the top with a hunting scene with a hound and rabbits and drawers and virtually identical handles and escutcheons but different corner mounts and banding. -A commode in tortoiseshell and brass contre-partie boulle marquetry attributed to Sageot sold in these Rooms, Treasures A Princely Taste, 4th July 2012, lot 17 (£180,000). The design of the marquetry on the top and sides and the design of the mounts differs to that upon this commode but the marquetry on the drawer fronts is virtually identical. -A commode inlaid with mother of pearl, stained horn and tortoiseshell contre-partie boulle marquetry then attributed to Noel Gérard, with identical corner and feet mounts, similar marquetry on the drawer fronts, although with an associated marble top, sold in these Rooms, 11th December 2002, lot 33. -A virtually identical commode apart from the design of the top in stained horn and contre-partie boulle marquetry attributed to Sageot offered for sale from The Greenberg Collection–Important French Furniture, Sotheby's, New York, 21st May 2004, lot 27, with similar marquetry on the drawer fronts, identical gilt-bronze corner, feet and handle mounts and borders. -A commode although unattributed must almost certainly also be by Sageot, in stained horn and contre-partie boulle marquetry with four drawers and similar marquetry on the drawers and a different marquetry top, with identical corner mounts  but different feet and escutcheon mounts, sold from the collection of Mr. and Mrs. Howard B. Keck, La Lanterne, Bel Air, California, Sotheby's, New York, 5th-6th December 1991, lot 245(374,000). -The `Pigot commode' although unattributed must almost certainly be by Sageot, in stained horn and première-partie boulle marquetry as it is virtually identical with identical mounts, gilt-bronze trelliswork banding, marquetry on the drawer fronts and sides, however, it had a marble top, sold in these Rooms, from Stokesey Court, Shropshire, 28th September 1994, lot 154. -A commode in stained horn and tortoiseshell contre-partie boulle marquetry attributed to Sageot, formerly in the Thyssen-Bornemiza Collection with a variation in the design of the top, similar marquetry on the drawers and decoration on the sides, gilt-bronze-banding and feet, sold Christie’s, London, 14th December 2000, lot 320. -A commode in contre-partie marquetry, although unattributed, from the Collection of Barbara Piasecka Johnson, previously in the collection of the duchesse de Talleyrand, Palais Rose sold Sotheby's, Monaco, 15th June 1981, lot 149 and again sold Sotheby’s New York, 21st May 1992, lot 69. It had a marquetry top and two short and two long drawers with almost identical marquetry on the drawers. -A commode although unattributed, in stained horn and tortoiseshell première-partie boulle marquetry depicting Pallas Athena on the top, with identical corner and feet mounts and marquetry on the drawers, sold from the collection of Monsieur X, Sotheby's, Monaco, 24th June 1984, lot 3053. The Dubois stamp: This could be of either Jacques Dubois or his son René Dubois. Although this commode is not stamped by Sageot, it is stamped I. DUBOIS and this could be the stamp of either Jacques or René Dubois, who will have stamped this piece as a restorer and retailer. René was the younger son of Jacques Dubois and René inherited his father’s business which was extremely successful and also used his father’s stamp I. DUBOIS. He is also known to have specialised in the restoration of Boulle marquetry and his stamp is recorded on a number of Boulle pieces: a pair of cupboards at Waddesdon Manor, Hertfordshire and a console table in the Wallace Collection, London. Jacques Dubois(1694-1763), received Master 1742 and René Dubois (1737-1799), received Master 1755. Nicolas Sageot (1666-1731) received Master 1706: He appears to have become active around 1690 and is first recorded as working in Grande rue du Faubourg-Saint-Antoine in 1698, where before being accepted by the cabinet-makers guild he had worked as an ouvrier libre. He married, in 1711, Marie Brigitte Roussel, the daughter of the ébéniste Jacques Roussel and his workshop appeared to prosper until around 1720 when he stopped working and sold his stock. His production seems to have principally consisted of important armoires, commodes and bureaux. He entered into a commercial arrangement with Léonard Prieur,`Marchand Mercier Grossier joaillier Priviligié suivant la Cour', 26th July 1720. As a result of this he sold furniture and various materials to him for 16000 livres; the armoires, priced from 400 to 1000 livres were the most expensive pieces (see Grand op. cit.,). Upon the death of his wife, in 1729, the inventory of their workshop records an important stock of brass and tortoiseshell. Other marqueteurs working for Sageot included Toussaint Devoye, a friend of Sageot's and the two men also had a business relationship. Toussaint probably supplied Sageot with marquetry but also supplied another cabinet-maker, Pierre Moulin, who was also connected with Sageot. Moulin had purchased part of Sageot's inventory in 1720, consisting of a stock of wood when Sageot retired. Moulin was in partnership in this transaction with his brother-in-law Claude-François Mainguet. Moulin had seven workshops at the time of his death and had enjoyed a thriving business specialising in brass and tortoiseshell marquetry and his success stemmed in part from his connection to Noël Gérard, his brother-in-law, whose work is similar in some respects to that of Sageot.

  • GBRUnited Kingdom
  • 2015-07-08
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A german parcel-gilt silver equestrian figure of st. george, most

The detachable figure on a rearing horse and domed base chased to simulate a rocky forest floor, corrugated rim, marked on base This striking sculpture was probably made as a dining table ornament, like the mounted equestrian drinking cups with detachable heads, which it resembles. A group of three such silver table sculptures representing Hercules, Omphale and Venus by Abraham II Drentwett, Augsburg, 1695-1700, are in the Hessisches Landesmuseum.1 These may have been part of a larger group, as the figure of Diana the Huntress by the same maker, in the same style was sold Christie's, Geneva, 18 November 1981, lot 192. The figure in the present group is intently studying the ground for his prey, where a separate sculpture of the dragon, enemy of the Christian knight, could be imagined. An Augsburg ewer of 1654 in the form of an equestrian group, with the horse similarly jumping, not over a dragon but over a fallen Turkish warrior, was formerly in the collection of the Princes Esterházy von Galantha. It represents László Esterházy who died fighting the Turks at the battle of Nagyvezekény in 1652.2 Melchior Gelb (1581-1654) was a precocious talent, co-working in 1605 with his later father-in-law on chased silver panels of the Crucifixion and the Descent from the Cross after the Italian sculptor Guglielmo della Porta (c. 1500-1577). He signed his work as journeyman for Pfelger long before he became a master of the Guild in 1616. One of these panels is in the Victoria and Albert Museum. His ability as a sculptor is evident in the surviving work which includes an Alpine Ibex (steinbock) drinking cup, very unusual tankards in the form of busts of young women with curled hair and necklaces and human figures worked into elaborate fountains for the drinking games which were then so popular.3 Notes 1. Exhibition catalogue, Silver und Gold, Augsburger Goldschmiedekunst für die Höfe Europas, Munich, 1994, no. 46 2. The horse and rider, Sold Sotheby’s, Geneva, 8 May 1989, lots 173 and 174. A photograph of 1930 reproduced in the catalogue shows the complete figure of horse, rider, fallen Turk and base. 3. Helmut Seling, Die Augsburger Gold-und Silberschmiede 1529-1868, Munich, 2007, no. 1305

  • GBRUnited Kingdom
  • 2015-07-08
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An extensive Meissen (Marcolini) ornithological dinner-service

An extensive Meissen (Marcolini) ornithological dinner-service Circa 1780, blue crossed swords and star marks, various Pressnummern and painter's marks to footrims Each piece finely painted with exotic birds and domestic fowl within extensive wooded landscape vignettes and with scattered moths and insects within shaped gilt-scroll borders, comprising: A large oval two-handled soup-tureen, cover and two-handled stand with cornucopiae and fruit handles and putto and cornucopia finial, the stand 17¼ in. (43.8 cm.) wide Two smaller oval two-handled tureens, covers and two-handled stands (one handle of one stand repaired, the other stand with rim chip), the stands 15 5/8 in. (39.8 cm.) wide Two shallow oval two-handled vegetable-tureens, covers and two-handled stands, the stands 14 3/8 in. (36.5 cm.) wide Two small oval tureens and covers with gilt-edged angular handles and on four key-pattern feet, the covers with bronzed and gilt cone finials with radiating foliage, 6¾ in. (17 cm.) wide Two oval stands, 8½ in. (21.5 cm.) wide A pair of large double-lipped two-handled sauce-boats, 8¾ in. (22 cm.) wide A pair of barrel-shaped mustard-pots and one spoon, the covers with pink bud finial (one cover with small crack and associated chip to underside), 3¾ in. (9.5 cm.) high Four triangular salts each with a central circular well supported on three tapering legs, the concave sides with blue flowerheads within gilt cable ornament, 3¾ in. (9.5 cm.) wide Twelve shaped rectangular serving-dishes in three sizes, 13 in. (33 cm.), 15¼ in. (38.5 cm.) 16¾ in. (42.5 cm.) wide Two foliate salad-bowls, 10 in. (25.5 cm.) wide Two lozenge-shaped dishes (one with crack to centre), 11½ in. (29.5 cm.) wide Twenty cushion-shaped dishes in three sizes (one of the smallest size cracked across and repaired), 7 5/8 in. (19.5 cm.), 9 in. (23 cm.) 10¼ in. (26 cm.) wide Twenty shaped saucer-dishes in three sizes, 8 3/8 in. (21.5 cm.), 9¾ in. (24.5 cm.), 10 3/8 in. (26.5 cm.) wide Two large shallow circular dishes, 15 in. (38 cm.) diam. Four large shallow circular dishes, 13 in. (33 cm.) diam. Six large shallow circular dishes, 12 in. (30.5 cm.) diam. Eight smaller shallow circular dishes, 10¼ in. (26 cm.) diam. Twenty-four soup-plates (one with rim chip), 8¾ in. (22.5 cm.) diam. Sixty-three dinner-plates (fourteen with rim chips, four with footrim chips, some with minor wear to gilding), approximately 9½ in. (24 cm.)

  • GBRUnited Kingdom
  • 2001-07-05
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A pair of george iii giltwood armchairs circa 1765, attributed to william gomm

Each cartouche-shaped upholstered backrest within a pierced foliate acanthus and rocaille-carved frame, the acanthus-scrolled handholds on S-scrolled carved armrest supports above a serpentine-fronted drop-in seat within a conforming pierced foliate-scrolled acanthus and rocaille-carved apron, raised on acanthus-carved cabriole legs terminating in acanthus-scrolled feet The form and detail of the present chairs is closely related to a drawing which is included in a group of three surviving manuscript books in the Collection of The Henry Francis du Pont Winterthur Museum, Delaware, the first volume containing manuscript designs for furniture, rooms, and ornamental designs, some of which are signed by Willliam Gomm and dated July, August, and November 18, 1761.  Further evidence of his ownership of the books is evidenced by an example of multiplication possibly addressed to his fifteen year old son William with the measurements of his room at Clerkenwell Close with the request as to 'how many feet of carpeting would cover it'.  The design, which is annotated A, is pasted into the book with four other drawings in the rococo style, B being for a pier mirror, C for a girandoles, D  for another pier mirror, and E  a pier table, naturalistically carved in the form of a tree; a table based on this design, and subsequently shown to have had a Gomm family provenance was sold at Sotheby's sale of the contents of Groombridge Place, the estate of Walton Mountain, September, 15-16, 1992, lot 49. William Gomm (c. 1698-1780) was the son of a yeoman farmer in Chinnor, and was apprenticed in 1713 to Hugh Maskall of London, a member of the Leathersellers' Company, joining this on the completion of his apprenticeship and subsequently being made free of the Upholders' Company in 1770.  First established at Peterborough Court, Smithfield, in 1725, he then moved to Newcastle House, Clerkenwell Court, building a double range of workshops over the surviving medieval nun's hall.  By 1756 he had taken his eldest son Richard (born c. 1729) into the business, the partnership continuing until bankruptcy occurred in 1776, although it was noted at that time that Richard 'filed by faults not his own'.  It is interesting to note that at some time in the 1730s William became associated with the German cabinet-maker Abraham Roentgen; Roentgen family memoirs mention him 'working with a number of  skilled furniture makers in London including one named as 'gern', at Newcastle House, presumably Gomm (Beard and Gilbert, Dictionary of English Furniture Makers, 1660-1840, 1986, pp. 349-350). Gomm's known commissions include supplying various items of furniture to Richard Hoare of Barn Elms, J. Buller of Morval, Cornwall, the Banking premises of Glyn, Halifax and Co., of Birchin Lane, London and Richard Weddell of Pall Mall, London, the father of William Weddell of Newby Hall, Yorkshire; the majority of these pieces appear to be of a 'domestic' nature, either of walnut or mahogany.  The most extensive commission carried out by the partnership appears to be that carried out for the 5th Lord Leigh at Stoneleigh Park in 1763, and included '183 assorted chairs, together with tables, dressing tables, clothes presses, close stools, a chest on chest, shaving table, commode dressing table, Pembroke table and a sideboard' (Beard and Gilbert, op. cit. )  Many of these survived at Stoneleigh until dispersed in the 1980s, all of them being again of a 'domestic' nature.  Apart from the present chairs, the most ambitious pieces of furniture, which have been attributed to Gomm, are the aforementioned table from Groombridge Place, and an elaborately carved altar table, the apron centred by a cherub's head made for the chapel at Stoneleigh. The present chairs are part of a suite of at least seven chairs designed in the full rococo taste of the late 1750s and 1760s, chairs of a similar form being illustrated in contemporary pattern books such as Thomas Chippendale's The Gentleman and Cabinet-Maker's Director, published in three editions between 1754 and 1763, and The Universal System of Household Furniture, published in 1762 by William Ince and John Mayhew, where they are described as French Chairs. Gomm's manuscript design and that of the present chairs is particularly notable for its lightness, the pierced elements of the carving providing a serious challenge to the chair-maker to provide sufficient strength to the frame overall. This is certainly not indicated either in the published designs of Chippendale or Ince and Mayhew, although a manuscript design by Matthias Lock which is closely related to a surviving chair which appears in various portraits by the painter Richard Cosway, also has these features. Kenure Park, Rush, Co. Dublin, was originally built in 1703 for the Dukes of Ormonde, subsequently becoming the property of Sir Henry Echlin, the 3rd Bt. After he lost the estate through bankruptcy, it was purchased by the daughter of the 2nd Baronet and her husband Francis Palmer.  It then descended in the Palmer family until 1964 when Colonel R. H. Fenwick-Palmer sold the contents, the house and estate being sold to the Irish Land Commissioners.  Unfortunately the house, which had fallen into severe decay, was demolished in 1978, the only part now remaining being the imposing portico by Papworth erected in the 1840s.  The few surviving photographs of the interiors of the house indicate that a number of rooms still retained their fine rococo plasterwork probably by Robert West of Dublin and carved woodwork which remained after an extensive fire in 1827 only to be subsequently destroyed in 1978. It is not known when the present chairs left the house, only three chairs from the suite being sold at the auction of the contents of the house in 1964, at which time an unusual ormolu-mounted lacquered commode by Pierre Langlois, and also a superb George II parcel-gilt padouk cabinet-on-stand attributed to Thomas Chippendale were also sold. One pair of armchairs of this suite sold recently with Christie’s New York, Important English Furniture, 27 October 2006, lot 100 ($408,000), one other ungilded pair were sold at Sotheby's New York, Important English Furniture, 16 Oct 2008, lot 223 ($242,500), possibly the pair sold with Parke-Bennet Galleries, New York, 9 November 1956, lot 301.

  • GBRUnited Kingdom
  • 2013-12-04
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AN EXTENSIVE MEISSEN PORCELAIN PART DINNER SERVICE

AN EXTENSIVE MEISSEN PORCELAIN PART DINNER SERVICE BLUE CROSSED SWORDS AND DOT MARKS, CIRCA 1770 In the Sèvres style, each piece finely and richely painted in colours with scattered flower bouquets within gilt palmettes and blue feuille-de-choux borders and gilt dentil rims, comprising: 2 bombe-form tureens, covers and stands, 17¾ in. (45.1 cm.) wide 4 oval tureens and covers, 4¾ in. (12 cm.) wide A two-handled dish, 13 in. (33 cm.) wide 4 small oval tureens and covers, 6 7/8in. (17.5 cm.) wide 2 small oval dishes, 5 5/8 in. (14.3 cm.) wide 4 pentagonal scalloped bowls, 8¾ in. (19 cm.) diameter A pentagonal scalloped bowl, 7½ in. (19 cm.) diameter 2 overlapping leaf-shaped dishes, 12 in. ( 30.5 cm.) wide 3 leaf-shaped dishes, 10 5/8 in. (27 cm.) wide 2 leaf-shaped dishes, 9½ in. (24.1 cm.) wide 2 leaf-shaped dishes with handles, 10 3/8 in. wide 4 leaf-shaped dishes with branch handles, 8 in. (20.3 cm.) wide 4 footed salts 2 oval sugar bowls and covers with branch handles, 6¾in. (17.2 cm.) wide A large bowl with rim, 11½ in. (29.2 cm.) diameter 4 large bowls with rims, 10¼ in. (26 cm.) diameter 2 saucer dishes, 10 3/8 in. (23.3 cm.) diamter A saucer dish, 9½ in. (24.2 cm.) diameter 3 saucer dishes, 8¼ in. (20.9 cm.) diameter 17 soup plates, 9¼ in. (23.5 cm.) diameter 7 dinner plates, 10 in. (25.4 cm.) diameter 40 dinner plates, 9½ in. (24.2 cm.) diameter 6 oval platters, 11¾ in. (29.8 cm.) long (130)

  • USAUSA
  • 2004-06-03
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Saturn devouring his children

Following the seminal survey of Leonard Kern’s work in Schwäbisch Hall in 1988, Christian Theuerkauff revealed the present ivory as an important new addition to the oeuvre of the prominent German sculptor and ivory carver. According to the article that summarises his comments on the 1988 catalogue (op. cit.), Theuerkauff was notified of the Saturn's existence by its owner, Professor Michael Jaffé, then the Director of the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge. Theuerkauff’s convincing attribution of the Saturn to Leonhard Kern relies on its close stylistic correspondence to a group of statuettes said to have been produced shortly after Kern’s return from Rome in the 1620s, most of which are kept in the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna. The upturned gaze and protruding forked beard, anguished expression, turned upper body and forward stride are near-identical to Kern’s Anacreon dated to circa 1625-1630 (inv. no. 4558). Kern repeated the formula to a lesser extent in his Moses (inv. no. 4545), the Saint Jerome without a lion illustrated by Rößler (op.cit., p. 138), versions of Abraham in the Victoria and Albert Museum (inv. no. A1-1953) and in a private collection illustrated by Theuerkauff (op. cit., fig. 6), and finally in the so-called Massacre of the Innocents, which was sold at Christie’s Paris on 17 November 2011 (lot 154). Significantly, the present composition exists in a much-discussed bronze version in the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna (inv. no. 5897). As with many of the bronzes associated with the Kern workshop, the relationship between the present ivory with the bronze version is unclear. However Theuerkauff suggests that the less sharply rendered details and the smaller size (26.2 centimeter) of the bronze could indicate that it was cast after the ivory (op. cit., pp. 39-40), which would make the present statuette its prototype. The subject of the ivory has been identified as Saturn (or Chronos in Greek mythology). According to Hesiod’s account, Saturn devoured his children to protect himself from being overthrown by them. This tyranny turned his parents and sister against him, who allowed his son Zeus to escape from his grasp, triggering the devastating war that would bring chaos to the world and result in Saturn's demise. While the subject was depicted in painting, notably by Kern’s contemporary Peter Paul Rubens, there seem to be few sculptural representations of the myth. Saturn is shown holding a lifeless infant in his right hand, while his left probably held the body part of another to his open mouth. The compellingly gruesome subject-matter must have been of significance to Leonard Kern and his patrons. Themes such as sacrifice, youth and old age, avarice, and the atrocities of war are regularly evoked by Kern’s Kunstkammer statuettes, confronting the viewer with problematic moral paradigms. Perhaps most closely related to Saturn is a statuette interpreted as the Massacre of the Innocents (Christie’s, see above), which shows a bearded male nude dragging the corpse of a child across the floor by its ankle. Cannibalism reappears in Kern’s oeuvre in a mysterious statuette of a seated female nude chewing on a human leg, variously identified as either Gaea (Saturn’s mother) or a personification of avarice, which exists in four versions (see Siebenmorgen 1988, op. cit., nos. 79 to 82). In addition, Kern carved at least five statuettes of different moments in the story of Abraham sacrificing Isaac. According to Hennze’s essay on this group, the sculptor’s preoccupation with such themes reflects an attitude prevalent in Germany during the Thirty Years' War, which anticipates terrible disasters but expects eventual salvation through God (op. cit., p. 29). The effect of this powerful ivory carving upon the contemporary viewer may have been one of catharsis. RELATED LITERATURE E. Grünwald, Leonhard Kern: Ein Bildhauer des Barock, Schwäbisch Hall, 1969; H. Siebenmorgen (ed.), Leonhard Kern (1588-1662): Meisterwerke der Bildhauerei für die Kunstkammern Europas, exh. cat. Hällisch-Fränkisches Museum, Schwäbisch Hall, 1988; H.-J. Hennze, ‘Abraham-Isaak-Darstellungen im Werk des Bildhauers Leonhard Kern (1588-1662)’, in H. Siebenmorgen (ed.), Leonhard Kern. Neue Forschungsbeiträge, Sigmaringen, 1990, pp. 25-29; W. Rößler, V. Schneider and W.-G. Fleck, Die Künstlerfamilie Kern 1529-1691: Hohenloher Bildhauer und Baumeister des Barock, Sigmaringen, 1998, pp. 115-172

  • GBRUnited Kingdom
  • 2016-07-05
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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.

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