• 500 Years: Decorative Arts Eur auction at Christies

    Sale 7784

    500 Years: Decorative Arts Europe

    10 December 2009, London, King Street

  • Lot 719

    A PAIR OF CARVED IVORY HIGH RELIEFS OF SCARAMUCCIO AND POLTRONE

    WORKSHOP OF CHRISTOPH LUDWIG VON LUCKE (1703-1780), MID 18TH CENTURY

    Price Realised  

    Estimate

    A PAIR OF CARVED IVORY HIGH RELIEFS OF SCARAMUCCIO AND POLTRONE
    WORKSHOP OF CHRISTOPH LUDWIG VON LUCKE (1703-1780), MID 18TH CENTURY
    Scaramuccio with left hand raised to his mouth, Poltrone depicted holding a pistol in his hand; mounted on a green velvet-covered ground and in a later rectangular wood frame; Scaramuccio marked in ink under the left foot with the letter 'L'; the reverse with a paper label indistinctly inscribed and further inscriptions in ink; worming and minor wear to frame
    4½ in. (11.4 cm.) high, each; 7 x 8¼ in. (17.8 x 21 cm.) the frame (2)


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    The existence of two signed ivories of Scaramuccio and Poltrone in the Schweriner Museum, Germany, and a terracotta Poltrone in the Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe, Hamburg, unquestionably link the ivories offered here to the Dresden sculptor Christoph Ludwig von Lucke (1703-1780). A further indentical pair in the Grünes Gewölbe, Dresden, are also described in an inventory of 1769 as being by von Lücken (J. L. Sponsel, Das Grüne Gewölbe zu Dresden, Leipzig, 1093, Band IV, p. 58-9, pl. 9) and have the additional common feature with the present ivories in that they are carved in high relief.

    The two roguish figures that Lucke playfully represents here are characters from the highly popular Commedia dell'Arte. Poltrone was one of the many minor characters that featured in the short plays, while the hugely popular Scaramuccio was often represented in black Spanish dress, acting like a buffoon and being beaten by a Harlequin for his boasting and cowardice. He also featured as one of the lesser characters in the Punch and Judy puppet shows, where Punch was frequently seen striking him and causing his head to fall off his shoulders.

    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.
    Prospective purchasers are advised that several countries prohibit the importation of property containing materials from endangered species, including but not limited to coral, ivory and tortoiseshell. Accordingly, prospective purchasers should familiarize themselves with relevant customs regulations prior to bidding if they intend to import this lot into another country.


    Pre-Lot Text

    THE PROPERTY OF A GENTLEMAN