• 500 Years: Decorative Arts Eur auction at Christies

    Sale 7784

    500 Years: Decorative Arts Europe

    10 December 2009, London, King Street

  • Lot 768

    A PAIR OF LOUIS XV SHELLWORK, CORAL, QUARTZ AND COLOURED GESSO PICTURES

    MID-18TH CENTURY, PROBABLY GERMAN

    Price Realised  

    A PAIR OF LOUIS XV SHELLWORK, CORAL, QUARTZ AND COLOURED GESSO PICTURES
    MID-18TH CENTURY, PROBABLY GERMAN
    Each depicting a seated dog modelled in relief, within a grotto like surround composed of various types of shells, corals and crystals, against a blue-decorated gessoed ground, on canvas, one picture rebacked with a board
    45 x 31 in. (114 x 79 cm.) (2)


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    These shellwork pictures are in a tradition of princely collecting that made little distinction between science and art. Such works were favoured by the early connoisseurs who would display contemporary works of art and antiquities alongside 'Naturalia', such as rare shells, precious coral and other wonders of the natural world, in a Kunstkammer or cabinet of art. By the 18th century shellwork was fashionably employed by the European nobility in their creation of whimsical shell-encrusted grottos in imitation of the water-caves of Greco-Roman mythology, and such colourful grottos are preserved at the Château de Vendeuvre, Normandy and Goodwood House, West Sussex. From this time it became au goût du jour for ladies to practice the arts of feather-, shell- and quillwork as a hobby in the manner of embroidery and découpage. The present pictures, unusually large in scale and depicting charmingly modeled Labrador Retrievers, are fine examples of this art.

    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 JAIME ORTIZ-PATIÑO (LOTS 767 - 769)