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    Sale 7608

    Important European Furniture and Sculpture

    10 July 2008, London, King Street

  • Lot 51

    A CIRCULAR PARCEL-GILT GRISAILLE ENAMEL EWER STAND

    ATTRIBUTED TO PIERRE REYMOND (1513-1584), LIMOGES, CIRCA 1560

    Price Realised  

    A CIRCULAR PARCEL-GILT GRISAILLE ENAMEL EWER STAND
    ATTRIBUTED TO PIERRE REYMOND (1513-1584), LIMOGES, CIRCA 1560
    Centred by a circular medallion with a profile portrait bust of Christ surrounded by a narrative frieze with five scenes from the book of Genesis: God Creating Eve from a Rib of Adam; God Placing Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden; The Original Sin; the Expulsion from the Garden of Eden; Cain Killing Abel with a Jawbone; the outer rim decorated with a repeating frieze of satyrs and fauns with fantastical beasts pulling chariots; the reverse decorated with intertwining strap-work, masks and winged cherubs' heads and framed by a band of gilded foliate scroll-work and the outer rim with further foliate scrolls and stylised dolphins; minor chips and repairs, wear to the gilding
    18¼ in. (46 cm.) diam.


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    Although unsigned, this stand can be confidently attributed to Pierre Reymond on the basis of its iconography and its stylistic similarity to other signed examples. Among these, one notes particularly a ewer stand in the Walters Art Gallery (Verdier, loc. cit., pp. 244-248, fig. 141), which uses virtually identical scenes to illustrate the various episodes from Genesis, as well as the same border to the front, and strap-work to the reverse. The only significant difference is the central medallion, although this is due to the fact that the medallion of the ewer stand in Baltimore is a modern replacement. Similarly, another ewer stand in the Louvre - this time depicting episodes from Exodus - is actually missing the central medallion (Baratte, loc. cit.). It is apparent that this element was generally executed separately in order to allow the commission to be tailored to an individual patron's needs, even if this made the medallion more susceptible to damage. In the case of at least one other closely related stand (Sotheby's London, 7 July 2006, lot 97) the central medallion was decorated on both sides with a coat of arms.
    As with so many of Reymond's works, a number of the delicately painted scenes have been taken from print sources. In this case, he adapted four of a series of six engravings executed in 1529 by Lucas van Leyden. The fifth scene - depicting God placing Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden - follows van Leyden's engraving closely for the group of Adam and Eve, but substitutes a different figure for God the Father.
    In the long history of enamel production in Limoges, the painted enamels of the 16th century are among the high points, and Pierre Reymond is among the most celebrated proponents of this art form. The present ewer stand shows how he has successfully adapted the form of van Leyden's engravings to a continuous, circular narrative, and displays the subtlety of the interplay he has created between the flesh tones of the figures and the grey landscape behind. The complexity of the design of the interior is further highlighted by its juxtaposition with the bold strap-work of the reverse, set against a black ground. The popularity of the design is attested to by the number of related stands referred to by Verdier in his entry on the Walters example (loc. cit.).

    Special Notice

    VAT rate of 5% is payable on hammer price and at 15% on the buyer's premium


    Provenance

    Purchased by Gustaaf Hamburger in circa 1968, and by descent.


    Pre-Lot Text

    THE PROPERTY OF THE LATE GUSTAAF HAMBURGER
    (LOTS 46-55)


    Literature

    COMPARATIVE LITERATURE:
    P. Verdier, The Walters Art Gallery - Catalogue of the Painted Enamels of the Renaissance, Baltimore, 1967, no. 141, pp. 244-248.
    S. Baratte, Les Emaux peints de Limoges, Paris, 2000, no. N 1280, p. 250.