These beautifully carved reliefs reflect the exuberant late Baroque classicism associated with Frans van Bossuit (1635-1692), the foremost ivory carver active in Amsterdam in the last decades of the 17th century. Bossuit was responsible for a relief with the Toilet of Bathsheba
(Wallace Collection, inv. no. S263), and three compositions with Lot and his Daughters
(E.C.U. de Balbian van Doorn, Jutphass; Sotheby's London 5 July 2000, lot 86; Galerie André Lemaire-Albéric Froissart, Paris). Each of the compositions differs from the present reliefs, but include the same idiosyncratic components, such as the pearls running through the hair of the women; the play between high and very low relief; and the surfeit of decorative detail. The grotesque elements, such as the gnarled hag in the Bathseba scene, together with the contemporary costumes, are reminiscent of the work of other North German ivory carvers, such as Joachim Henne (circa 1630-1707).
J. Rasmussen, Barockplastik in Norddeutschland, exh. cat. Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe, Hamburg, 1977, pp. 373-404; J. Warren, 'Two Ivory Reliefs by Francis van Bossuit', R. Marth and M. Trusted, Barocke Kunststückh. Sculpture Studies in Honour of Christian Theuerkauff, Munich, pp. 66-72; E. D. Schmidt and M. Sframeli, Diafane passioni. Avori barocchi dalle corti europee, exh. cat. Palazzo Pitti, Florence, 2013, pp. 242-249, nos. 78-81; http://bossuit.rkdmonographs.nl/oeuvrecatalogus/oude-testament/ [accessed 25 October 2015]