Jan Pieter van Baurscheit de Oude (The Elder) was born in the German town Wormersdorf near Bonn in 1669. Though German in origin he predominantly lived and worked in Antwerp until his death in 1728.
In 1691 Baurscheit is recorded as having entered the Guild of St. Luke in Antwerp. He started working as an apprentice of Peter Scheemaeckers the Elder. Under Schemmaeckers' tutelage Van Baurscheit developed his skills and adopted his master's understanding of Baroque art by incorporating a 'classical' type of monumentality in his compositions while also maintaining the freedom of form and sensitivity of detail.
Van Baurscheit worked on many ecclesiastical commissions, but was also known to have worked for a number of private patrons and commissioners. Unfortunately, relatively little is known about these latter works, which seem to have resulted in only a small number of portrait busts and a body of garden statuary of which the present lot is an example.
Van Baurscheit did continue to work on religious commissions up to his death in 1728, but based on stylistic comparisons and some dated sculptures almost all of his secular works appear to have been executed in the last decade of his life.
For further examples of his oeuvre and a related marble sculpture by Van Baurscheit depicting three playful putti with comparable short rounded bodies, playful poses and facial features see: J. Leeuwenberg, Beeldhouwkunst in het Rijksmuseum, Den Haag, 1973, pp. 265-268, ill. 361.
Another related group Dancing Children was at Clumber Park in the possesion of The Hon. the Earl of Lincoln and sold at Christie's London, 19 October 1937, lot 393.