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.