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The group was damaged during the transit and the club and the tips of the fingers of the right hand are now lacking
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.