Bequeathed by Peter Maitland (1937-2009) to Deborah, Duchess of Devonshire (1920-2014)
This owl and the proceeding painting of a tabby cat were a charming bequest left to the Duchess by her friend Peter Maitland, who was Director and Chief Executive of Mallet the antique dealers. The gift is a reference to the poem, the Owl and the Pussy Cat written by Edward Lear in 1871.
Overall the condition of the bronze is good, with minor dirt and wear to the surface consistent with age. There are several small lacunae, consistent with the style of casting, and a few casting plugs are slightly visible. There are a few nicks and scratches, notably to the owl's neck. There is some white residue in the crevices. There is a piece of felt to the underside. "In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective, qualified opinion. Prospective buyers should also refer to any Important Notices regarding this sale, which are printed in the Sale Catalogue. NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF BUSINESS PRINTED IN THE SALE CATALOGUE."