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This lot has been imported from outside of the UK … Read more PROPERTY FROM THE WETZLAR COLLECTION (LOTS 12, 15 & 16)

Three men in a tavern, one taking snuff

Three men in a tavern, one taking snuff
signed with artist's monogram 'GTB' (lower left, on the table)
oil on panel
10 3⁄4 x 8 in. (27.2 x 20.1 cm.)
(Possibly) Johan van Sijpesteijn (d. 1693), Utrecht and his widow, Pitronella van Midelcoop (in the posthumous inventory of 26 September 1693, no. 70).
Anonymous sale; The Hague, 24 April 1737, lot 20 (35.5 Florins).
Louis-François de Bourbon, prince de Conti (1717-1776); his sale (†); Nicolas-François-Jacques Boileau, Paris, 15 March 1779, lot 180 (150 francs to the following),
Nicolas-François-Jacques Boileau (1720-1785), Paris.
René Mège de Malmont (1859-1911), Paris.
with Charles Sedelmeyer, Paris, by 1901.
Adolphe Schloss (1842-1910), Paris, inv. no. 254, and by descent to his wife,
Lucie Haas Schloss (1858-1938), and by descent to their children,
Henry, Lucien, Juliette, Marguerite and Raymond Schloss, by whom transferred from Paris to the Château de Chambon, Laguenne, August 1939, from where confiscated on 16 April 1943 and taken via Limoges to CGQJ headquarters, Paris, on 11 August 1943, recovered by Allied forces and restituted to the family 29 November 1946, by whom sold in the following,
Adolphe Schloss; his sale, Charpentier, Paris, 25 May 1949, lot 60 (680,000 francs).
Dr. Hans A. Wetzlar, Amsterdam, by 1952, until 1977, and by descent to the present owners.
C. Hofstede de Groot, A catalogue raisonné of the works of the most eminent Dutch painters of the seventeenth century, London, 1913, V, pp. 39 and 73, nos. 98a and 198.
C. Sedelmeyer, Catalogue of the Seventh Series of 100 paintings by Old Masters of the Dutch, Flemish, Italian, French and English Schools, Paris, 1901, p. 60, no. 50.
M.J. Friedlaender, Collection Dr. H. Wetzlar Amsterdam, Amsterdam, 1952, p. 21, no. 93.
S.J. Gudlaugsson, Gerard Ter Borch, The Hague, 1959, I, p. 231, no. 69, illustrated.
S. J. Gudlaugsson, Katalog der Gemälde Gerard Ter Borch, The Hague, 1960, II, pp. 89-90, no. 69.
M. Jager, Voorkeuren: een particuliere collectie, Amsterdam, 1985, pp. 20-21, illustrated.
Laren, Singer Museum, Kunstschatten: twee Nederlandse collecties schilderijen uit de vijftiende tot en met de zeventiende eeuw en een collectie oud aardewerk, 14 June-16 Sugust 1959, no. 79.
Münster, Landesmuseum, Gerard ter Borch, 12 May-23 June 1974, no. 70.
Washington, National Gallery of Art; Detroit, Institute of Arts, Gerard ter Borch, 1 November 2004-22 May 2005, no. 15, with catalogue by A.K. Wheelock.
Rotterdam, Museum Boijmans van Beuningen, on long-term loan since 2008.
J. van Somer, 1676.
Special notice
This lot has been imported from outside of the UK for sale and placed under the Temporary Admission regime. Import VAT is payable at 5% on the hammer price. VAT at 20% will be added to the buyer’s premium but will not be shown separately on our invoice.

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Clementine Sinclair
Clementine Sinclair Senior Director, Head of Department

Lot Essay

In 1646, after more than a decade of travel through England, Italy, Spain, the Southern Netherlands and France, Gerard ter Borch arrived in Münster as a member of the entourage accompanying the representative of the States of Holland, Adriaen Pauw (1585-1653), at the peace negotiations between the Dutch Republic and Spain that, in 1648, ended the Eighty Years War. It was there that ter Borch probably befriended the man who modelled for the central figure in a flat red beret staring blankly ahead as two companions look on with evident concern. In his entry for the 2004-2005 exhibition on the artist, Arthur Wheelock was the first to suggest that this man is the same as one who appears sixth from left in the back row of ter Borch’s Swearing of the Oath of Ratification of the Treaty of Münster (London, National Gallery), identifiable by his long black hair, distinctive moustache, deeply-set eyes and downward sloping, slightly bulbous nose (op. cit., p. 78). Sturla Gudlaugsson had previously offered a similar proposal with regard to ter Borch’s Encouragement to Drink (op. cit., p. 89, under no. 68; fig. 1; present location unknown), which, on account of its similar dimensions, both Wheelock and Gudlaugsson agree was probably conceived as the pendant to the present painting.
There is good reason for ter Borch to have employed this man as a model within these two paintings, which are traditionally dated to circa 1648⁄9. In the artist’s group portrait commemorating the truce, the man appears as a member of the Spanish court, which associates him with the entourage of the Count of Peñaranda. Ter Borch, too, was friendly with the Count, having not only portrayed him in a small painting on copper, today in the Museum Boijmans van Beuningen, Rotterdam (inv. no. 2529), but likely travelled with him to Brussels following the peace agreement. It was around this time that David Teniers II also moved to Brussels to take up his post as court painter to Archduke Leopold Wilhelm, a point which may explain ter Borch’s contemporary interest in bawdy, monochrome genre scenes of figures smoking and drinking around a table.
Toward the end of the 1640s, ter Borch routinely thought in terms of pendants. He employed the idea to particularly notable effect in the present painting and its presumed pendant. Taken together, the paintings, as Wheelock notes: ‘exhibit … contrary emotional experiences of joy and despair’; and between them combine references to each of the five senses (op. cit.).
This painting was engraved in mezzotint by Jan van Somer in 1676 and is further known through several painted copies, including one of good quality in the John G. Johnson Collection at the Philadelphia Museum of Art (inv. no. 1177).

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