• Christies auction house James Christie logo

    Sale 7743

    Old Masters & 19th Century Art Evening Sale

    7 July 2009, London, King Street

  • Lot 1

    Jacob Duck (?Utrecht c. 1600-1667 Utrecht)

    The contract: A lady presenting a letter to a gentleman, and an old lady studying another, in an interior

    Price Realised  

    Estimate

    Jacob Duck (?Utrecht c. 1600-1667 Utrecht)
    The contract: A lady presenting a letter to a gentleman, and an old lady studying another, in an interior
    signed and dated '1635 ·J Duck f' (centre, on the letter)
    oil on panel
    19½ x 16¼ in. (49.5 x 41.3 cm.)
    with old inscription 'the Master is Leduc' (on reverse of panel)


    Contact Client Service
    • info@christies.com

    • New York +1 212 636 2000

    • London +44 (0)20 7839 9060

    • Hong Kong +852 2760 1766

    • Shanghai +86 21 6355 1766

    Contact the department

    Jacob Duck was originally trained as a goldsmith before beginning his training as a painter under Cornelis Droochsloot at the relatively advanced age of twenty-one. While painting in Utrecht at this time was largely the domain of the Caravaggisti, Duck modelled his style on the works of the Amsterdam artists Pieter Codde and William Duyster, and their subject matter of guard room scenes and merry companies.

    As Peter Sutton points out in the catalogue of the exhibition Love Letters, Dutch Genre paintings in the Age of Vermeer (Bruce Museum, 2003, pp. 16-17), both Codde and Duyster were early exponents of the letter becoming a central theme in images of everyday life. In Duyster's Woman with a letter and a man (Copenhagen, Statens museum for Kunst), there are obvious similarities to the present painting, although Duck's addition of the old lady studying a document, and the depiction of the Sacrafice of Isaac on the back wall, has clearly altered the narrative of the event.

    Special Notice

    No VAT will be charged on the hammer price, but VAT at 15% will be added to the buyer's premium which is invoiced on a VAT inclusive basis.


    Provenance

    Sir Jacob Astley (1797-1859), and by descent.


    Pre-Lot Text

    THE PROPERTY OF A NOBLEMAN


    Exhibited

    Norwich, Castle Museum, Dutch Paintings from East Anglia, 20 July-29 August 1966, no. 14.
    Norwich, Castle Museum, Dutch and Flemish Painting in Norfolk. A history of taste and influence, fashion and collecting, 10 September-20 November 1988, no. 110.