Anonymous Sale, London, Philips, 13 May 1986, lot 32, for £9,000, where acquired by the present owners.
An early copy after a lost original by Bosch, other versions of which are in the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, and the Museum Mayer van den Bergh in Antwerp. The best known version, a grisaille copy once considered by Friedländer as the possible original, is now in the Noordbrabants Museum in 's-Hertogenbosch (for which see, for example, L. Silver, Hieronymus Bosch, New York and London 2006, p. 381, fig. 300). The inscription may be translated as: 'Every mole wants to go in his hole'.