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    Sale 7683

    A Rococo Fantasy Treasures from a Bavarian Collection

    6 November 2008, London, King Street

  • Lot 290

    A NYMPHENBURG FIGURE OF L'ABBE OR ANSELMO FROM THE COMMEDIA DELL'ARTE SERIES

    CIRCA 1760, IMPRESSED SHIELD MARK, INCISED 2

    Price Realised  

    A NYMPHENBURG FIGURE OF L'ABBE OR ANSELMO FROM THE COMMEDIA DELL'ARTE SERIES
    CIRCA 1760, IMPRESSED SHIELD MARK, INCISED 2
    Modelled by Franz Anton Bustelli, wearing a black hat and cape with pink collar and grey striped lining, his grey waistcoat picked out in monochrome with flowers, leaning on a cane, supported by a scroll on a scroll-moulded base enriched in gilding, cracked through legs and restored, restoration to both hands, feet, cane, brim of hat, front edge and reverse hem of cape, reverse of scrolled base, some associated retouching to enamels
    7¼ in. (18.4 cm.) high


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    The series of Commedia dell'Arte figures that Franz Anton Bustelli produced for the Nymphenburg factory are considered the zenith of his sculptural achievements. They are particularly unusual in that pairs of figures were designed to interact together. Anselmo, the current figure, is traditionally paired with Corine; he appears to be posed listening to her. The inspiration for the model came from the engraving by Riccoboni, titled 'Narcisin de Malalbergo'. See the example enriched in black enamel and another in the white from the Bayerisches National Museum Collection, Munich, illustrated by Katharina Hantschmann, Alfred Ziffer et al, Franz Anton Bustelli, Nymphenburger Porzellanfiguren des Rokoko, Exhibition Catalogue, 24 November 2004 - 13 March 2005 Munich, 2004, pp. 306 and 307. A figure of Scaramouche illustrated in the same catalogue is decorated in a near identical palette with a very similar pattern to his waistcoat, ibid., p. 298, no. 157 and detail of the pattern, p. 300, the figure is dated 1760-65. For another example of the figure see R. Rückert, Bustelli Munich, 1963, pl. 40.

    This figure is particularly unusual as only five appear to have been sold at auction over the last fifty years. The most recent examples to have been sold at auction have appeared in these Rooms and have been sold anonymously: 28 June 1993, lot 106, another on 28 March 1977, lot 162 and another on 5 October 1981, lot 76. A further example was sold by Sotheby's London on 21 November 1978, lot 67, and another from the Collection of the Late Sir Bernard Eckstein, by Sotheby's London on 31 May 1949, lot 202. It is interesting to note that the sale of a Property of a Gentleman, 'A Unique Collection of Nymphenburg Porcelain', sold in these Rooms on 2 - 3 July 1956, did not contain a figure of Anselmo, emphasising its rarity.

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    Provenance

    Acquired by Röbbig, Munich.