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Collection Spitzer, Paris, le 20 avril. 1893, lot 171 (comme 'Italie, XVIème siècle').
Christie's Londres, le 15 mai 1984, lot 47.
The group was damaged during the transit and the club and the tips of the fingers of the right hand are now lacking
R. Berliner, Die Bildwerke des Bayerischen naionalmuseum, IV: Die Bildwerke in Elfenbein, etc..., Augsbourg, 1926, no. 509, pl. 236.
E. von Philippovitch, Simon Troger und andere Elfenbeinkünstler aus Tirol (Schlern-Schriften no. 216, R. Klebelsberg ed., Universitätsverlag Wagner), Innsbruck, 1961, pp. 6-11. E. von Philippovitch Elfenbein, Brunswick, 1961, pp. 240-242.
C. Theuerkauff, Elfenbein: Sammlung Reiner Winkler, Munich, 1984, p. 140H.
Post Lot Text
A CARVED IVORY GROUP OF CAIN KILLING ABEL
ATTRIBUTED TO SIMON TROGER (1683-1768), FIRST HALF 18TH CENTURY
Cain depicted standing over Abel, a club raised in his right hand, Abel lying on a naturalistic base carved with animals and foliage; carved from numerous pieces of ivory, the glass eyes replaced with ivory; minor cracks and losses
This group, carved entirely in ivory - without the normal mixture of materials favoured by Troger - is similar to a group in ivory and wood now in the Bayerisches Nationalmuseum, Munich (Berliner, loc. cit.) and to a near-duplicate group from a private collection (Sotheby's, New York, 24-25 Oct. 2002, lot 740), save for the fact that they both include the altar and sacrificial sheep, over which the quarrel between the brothers had arisen.
A signed wooden model for the group is in the Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna, while the composition is derived from a painting by Salvator Rosa in the Doria Pamphili Gallery, Rome.
In terms of sculpture, a prototype is to be found in an anonymous but popular bronze group of Hercules and Cacus (ca. 1600), that distantly reflects Michelangelo's and Giambologna's earlier compositions of Samson and a Philistine (Victoria and Albert Museum, London). Indeed the latter, once it had reached England, was also known as Cain and Abel.
For a general discussion on Simon Troger see also the note to lot 572.