25
25
Georg Schweigger (1613-1680)
After a model attributed to the circle of Hans Schwarz (1492-1550)  
German, Nuremberg, mid-17th century
RELIEF MEDALLION WITH A PORTRAIT OF A YOUNG MAN
Estimate
20,00030,000
LOT SOLD. 25,000 GBP
JUMP TO LOT
25
Georg Schweigger (1613-1680)
After a model attributed to the circle of Hans Schwarz (1492-1550)  
German, Nuremberg, mid-17th century
RELIEF MEDALLION WITH A PORTRAIT OF A YOUNG MAN
Estimate
20,00030,000
LOT SOLD. 25,000 GBP
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

Old Master Sculpture and Works of Art Including Highlights from the Reinhold Hofstätter Collection

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London

Georg Schweigger (1613-1680)
After a model attributed to the circle of Hans Schwarz (1492-1550)  
German, Nuremberg, mid-17th century
RELIEF MEDALLION WITH A PORTRAIT OF A YOUNG MAN
indistinctly signed: Georg Schweigger and inscribed: ...153[?]4 on the reverse, and with a label on the reverse printed: G. / W. 21.
Solnhofen limestone, with a red leather box lined with cream fabric
6.5cm., 2½in. diameter
Read Condition Report Read Condition Report

Provenance

Baron Gustave de Rothschild (1829-1911);
Alain Moatti, Paris, France;
John R. Gaines, United Kingdom;
his sale, Morton&Eden, London, 8 December 2005, lot 43;
Lawrence Stack, London, United Kingdom;
his sale, Morton&Eden, London, 10 December 2009, lot 232

Literature

G. Habich, Die Deutschen Schaumünzen des XVI. Jahrhunderts, Munich, 1929, vol. 1, p. 47, fig. 59

Catalogue Note

This treasure of German Renaissance portraiture is a highly important signed work by the innovative Baroque sculptor and medallist, Georg Schweigger. Born in Nuremberg in 1613, Schweigger was at the forefront of a unique artistic movement in Germany which sought to emulate and adapt a style that had flourished only a hundred years previously - that of Albrecht Dürer and his contemporaries. Schweigger so revered the legacy of his early-sixteenth-century predecessors that some of his own works are virtually indistinguishable from theirs. Having restored a Crucifix by Veit Stoss in the church of St Sebald, the sculptor produced several crucified Christs in the style of the late Gothic master. A large part of his oeuvre was, however, devoted to the field of medal portraiture.

Though Schweigger sometimes invented original compositions inspired by Renaissance examples, the present medallion is a copy of an early 16th-century wood original attributed to the circle of the great medallist Hans Schwarz. As revealed by the inscription on the reverse of both original and copy, the sitter was a 26-year-old man by the name of Jacob W., perhaps identifiable as Jacob Welser III, a member of an important Nuremberg family of merchants. Distinguished by his large, fashionable hat, the young man appears somewhat more mature and assertive in Schweigger's version of the portrait.

A comparable signature to that on the reverse is found in a portrait medallion of a woman by Schweigger, also carved in Solnhofen stone, in the Staatliche Museen in Berlin (inv. no. 7766). As Bernhard Decker (op. cit., p. 126) argues, the 'freehand' style of the inscription served to underline the status of these 17th-century Renaissance-style medallions as artistic homages and collectors' objects, rather than as models for the casting of medals.

RELATED LITERATURE
H. Beck and B. Decker (eds.), Dürers Verwandlung in der Skulptur zwischen Renaissance und Barock, exh. cat. Liebieghaus, Frankfurt am Main, 1981 

Old Master Sculpture and Works of Art Including Highlights from the Reinhold Hofstätter Collection

|
London