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    Sale 7745

    Important European Furniture, Sculpture & Clocks

    9 July 2009, London, King Street

  • Lot 84

    A BRONZE GROUP OF HERCULES AND THE STYMPHALIAN BIRDS

    FRENCH, 17TH CENTURY

    Price Realised  

    A BRONZE GROUP OF HERCULES AND THE STYMPHALIAN BIRDS
    FRENCH, 17TH CENTURY
    Hercules formerly holding a bow and arrow now lacking; on an integral naturalistic bronze plinth and later ebonised spreading wood base inscribed in ink to the underside '50'; warm dark brown patina with medium brown high points
    8½ in. (21.6 cm.) high; 9¾ in. (24.7 cm.) high, overall


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    One of the Twelve Labours of Hercules required the hero to kill a flock of birds which were ravaging the countryside around Lake Stymphalus in Arcadia. He achieved this by using a rattle forged by Vulcan which frightened the birds, causing them to take flight. As they did so, Hercules shot them with his arrows.

    Although the female chimera in the present group does not have wings, she closely follows Albrecht Durer's depiction of the theme in the Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna. Like the present figure, the birds in Durer's painting have female torsos, serpents' tails and lions' paws. He is depicted here with his foot on one of the birds while he takes aim at another.

    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.


    Pre-Lot Text

    THE PROPERTY OF A GENTLEMAN