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    Sale 7608

    Important European Furniture and Sculpture

    10 July 2008, London, King Street

  • Lot 52

    A CIRCULAR PARCEL-GILT GRISAILLE ENAMEL PLATE

    ATTRIBUTED TO JEAN MIETTE (ACTIVE 1563-5), CIRCA 1565

    Price Realised  

    Estimate

    A CIRCULAR PARCEL-GILT GRISAILLE ENAMEL PLATE
    ATTRIBUTED TO JEAN MIETTE (ACTIVE 1563-5), CIRCA 1565
    Emblematic of the month of June from the series of the Labours of the Months; the outer rim decorated with elaborate foliate scroll-work and putti, the center with shepherds shearing sheep in a landscape; with the zodiacal symbol of a crab, representing Cancer, beneath the upper rim and inscribed above the lower rim 'IVING'; the underside of the plate with a standing figure of Mars within an architectural niche surrounded by fantastical beasts, scrolls, and foliage; losses and wear to gilding, minor chips
    10½ in. (26.5 cm.) diam.


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    This elaborately decorated plate representing the month of June can, on stylistic grounds, be attributed to the enameller Jean Miette who was apprenticed to Léonard Limosin in the mid 16th century. A number of very similar enamelled vessels, characterised by a deep blue ground juxtaposed with grisaille figures and decorated with tightly packed foliate scrolls, have been attributed to him due to their similarity to a tazza in the British Museum, London, bearing the initials 'I.M.' (Caroselli, op. cit., p. 150). The largest group of enamels now attributed to him are in the Musée du Louvre, Paris, and two plates in particular, of the month of April and The Banquet of Psyche (Baratte, loc. cit.), demonstrate near identical facial types and drapery as well as identical clouds and gilded sky. The Month of April plate is particularly interesting as it is decorated to the reverse with a nearly identical scene of a deity, in this case Minerva, framed by a renaissance architectural scheme and embellished with grotesque masks and foliate scrolls. In terms of quality perhaps only the Sacrifice of Isaac plate in the Los Angeles County Museum (Caroselli, loc. cit.) compares to the quality of the plate offered here. As Caroselli points out in her entry on that piece, Miette's earlier style, as seen in the Louvre plates, was hesitant and his figures tended to be sketchy and awkwardly elongated. The well- proportioned figures and very ornately decorated borders seen on the Sacrifice of Isaac and June plates, would therefore suggest that they were painted at a later stage of his career, perhaps sometime after 1565 when he was no longer working with Limosin.

    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 the late 1960s, and by descent.


    Pre-Lot Text

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


    Literature

    COMPARATIVE LITERATURE:
    S. Caroselli, The Painted Enamels of Limoges, New York and London, 1993, pp. 150-155, no. 24.
    S. Baratte, Les Emaux Peints de Limoges, Paris, 2000, nos. MR2422 and MR2421, pp. 302-3.