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    Sale 7631

    Important European Furniture & Sculpture

    4 December 2008, London, King Street

  • Lot 75

    A CARVED IVORY, WOOD AND GLASS ANATOMICAL MODEL OF AN EYE

    GERMAN, PROBABLY LATE 17TH CENTURY

    Price Realised  

    Estimate

    A CARVED IVORY, WOOD AND GLASS ANATOMICAL MODEL OF AN EYE
    GERMAN, PROBABLY LATE 17TH CENTURY
    Composed of ten individual sections, on a turned ivory spiraling stem and foot; very minor losses and repairs; in a modern turned wood canister
    3 3/8 in. (8.6 cm.) high


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    Although anatomical models of eyes are known to have existed from the 17th century onwards, the construction of the example offered here relates very closely to an engraving of a virtually identical, disassembled, model of an eye carved by Stephan Zick (1639-1715) in circa 1680 (Braunschweig, loc.cit.). Zick was from a dynasty of turned ivory carvers active from the late 16th to the 18th century in Nuremberg, one of the main centers of ivory production alongside Regensburg and Dresden. Such models, as well as carved skulls and human skeletons, were conceived as teaching tools and, in the case of the eye at least, were inspired by the drawings of Andrea Vesalius in 1543 and, most relevantly, Georg Bartisch who is credited with producing the first renaissance manuscript on ophthalmic disorders and eye surgery in 1583.

    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 PRIVATE COLLECTOR
    (LOTS 75-80)


    Literature

    COMPARATIVE LITERATURE:
    E. V. Braunschweig, Ein Handbuch für Sammler und Liebhaber Elfenbein, Leipzig, 1961, p. 253.
    B. Thomas, Anatomische Modelle aus Elfenbein, Zurich, 1985, no. 178, fig. V.