• Christies auction house James Christie logo

    Sale 12038

    Interiors

    20 July 2016, London, South Kensington

  • Lot 184

    A GEORGE III CARVED IVORY RELIEF ON GLASS OF A THREE-MASTED MAN-O'-WAR

    BY STEPHANY AND DRESCH, CIRCA 1790-1800

    Price Realised  

    Estimate

    A GEORGE III CARVED IVORY RELIEF ON GLASS OF A THREE-MASTED MAN-O'-WAR
    BY STEPHANY AND DRESCH, CIRCA 1790-1800
    Set with a blue glass background, the oval glass medallion with ormolu surround and within further gilt-composition frame, signed to the ivory 'STEPHANY AND DRESCH', the gilt composition frame and mahogany case later

    7 ¾ x 7 ¼ in. (19 x 18 cm.) overall


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    The art of micro-carving in ivory reached the height of its popularity and technical virtuosity in the final decades of the 18th century. Practised by a small number of highly specialised sculptors in the capitals of Europe, these reliefs were set under rock-crystal or glass and placed into jewellery, onto small boxes, or were framed as independent works of art. The present lot is an example of the delicate, intricate micro carving that was popular in the kunstkammers of Europe's nobility in the 18th and 19th centuries. Many of the sculptors who practised the art of micro-carving gained considerable fame - the German born partners Stephany and Dresch, working in London and Bath in the late 18th century, sold their ivories to members of fashionable English society, exhibited a number of times at the Royal Academy, and were named by George III of England, 'Sculptors in Miniature on Ivory to their Majesties'.

    Special Notice

    Prospective purchasers are advised that several countries prohibit the importation of property containing materials from endangered species, including but not limited to coral, ivory and tortoiseshell. Accordingly, prospective purchasers should familiarize themselves with relevant customs regulations prior to bidding if they intend to import this lot into another country.


    Pre-Lot Text

    PROPERTY FROM A DISTINGUISHED PRIVATE COLLECTION, LOTS 184-188