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    Sale 7445

    Important European Furniture, Sculpture and Tapestries

    6 December 2007, London, King Street

  • Lot 238

    A DUTCH ENGRAVED MOTHER-OF-PEARL-INLAID TOUCHSTONE PANEL

    BY DIRCK VAN RIJSWIJCK, CIRCA 1660

    Price Realised  

    A DUTCH ENGRAVED MOTHER-OF-PEARL-INLAID TOUCHSTONE PANEL
    BY DIRCK VAN RIJSWIJCK, CIRCA 1660
    The rectangular panel inlaid with an exuberant floral wreath with roses, tulips, lilies and various other flowers, centred by a parrot perched on a ring and suspended from a ribbon tie, inscribed 'DIRCK VAN RYSWYCK INVENIT ET FECIT AMSTELODAM ANNO', losses to a flower and to the tail, restored breaks
    10½ in. (27 cm.) high; 10¼ in. (26 cm.) wide


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    The inlaid engraved mother-of-pearl technique of the present panel is characteristic of the work of Dirck van Rijswijck. This is reminiscent of pietre-dure inlays and was to become van Rijswijck's speciality. Although he only used mother-of-pearl and sparingly coloured marbles and stones, he was able to achieve a polychrome effect by using the colour variations within the different layers of mother-of-pearl, and different shells. The present example is a new addition to his oeuvre and is part of a group of panels which all have the same design of a floral wreath centred by a parrot. Kisluk-Grosheide lists two comparable plaques signed by him: one dated 1666, which was sold Christie's London 11 March 1971, lot 11 and another along with a further plaque inserted in a richly-mounted tortoiseshell secretaire, which are illustrated in D. Kisluk-Grosheide, 'Dirck van Rijswijck (1596-1679), a Master of Mother-of-Pearl', Oud Holland III-1997, pp. 119 and 149.

    Dirck van Rijswijck was born in Clèves and was trained as a goldsmith. He moved to Antwerp in 1620 to work for the goldsmith Denys van Zele (ca. 1579 - after 1630). Around 1630 van Rijswijck moved to Amsterdam, where at first he worked as a gold and silversmith, gradually also working with engraved mother-of-pearl. From the middle of the 17th Century he started to inlay mother-of-pearl in slate or ebony. He was to become so famous for this work in his own time that in 1660, the great Dutch poet Joost van den Vondel, composed a long eulogy to one of Rijswijck's masterpieces (R. Baarsen, Nederlandse Meubelen, Zwolle, 1993, p. 36).

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