Lot 18
  • 18

David Teniers the Younger

80,000 - 120,000 GBP
680,750 GBP
bidding is closed


  • David Teniers the Younger
  • Boys blowing bubbles in an interior
  • signed upper right: D. TENIERS
  • oil on oak panel
  • 31 x 25 cm.; 12 1/4  x 9 7/8  in.


Louis-Jean-François Collet (1722–1787), Chevalier de l'Ordre de St. Michel;

His posthumous sale, Paris, Lebrun, 14–23 May 1787, lot 36, where purchased for 1060 French Francs by

Charles-Alexandre de Calonne (1734–1802) or, or with, Jean-Baptiste-Pierre Le Brun (1748–1813);

By whom sold, Paris, Lebrun, 21–30 April 1788, lot 48, for 1651 French Francs, to Duval;

By whom offered, London, Christie's, 3 May 1806, lot 3, where unsold;

J.L. Masson, Paris;

By whom sold, London, Christie's, 30 May 1806, lot 8 for £3.3s to Woodburn;

Princess Galitzin, Saint Petersburg;

Antoon van Welie, The Hague, 1935;

Jacob Hartog, The Hague;

Confiscated from the above by Dr M.H.H. Franssen, The Hague, 1942;

Acquired from the above for the Sonderauftrag Linz by Hans Posse (inv. no. 2456);

Central Collecting Point Munich, 1945 (Inv. no. 3802);

Restituted to the Dutch State, 1945;

Restituted to the heirs of Jacob Hartog, New York, 1946;

Anonymous sale, London, Christie’s, 19 March 1965, lot 9, for 1700 Guineas to Herzig;

With Galerie Sanct Lucas, Vienna, 1965, from whom almost certainly acquired by the father of the present owner.


Saint Petersburg, The Hermitage;

Vienna, Galerie Sanct Lucas, Gemälde alter Meister, Neuerwerbungen, 1965–66, no. 14.  


J. Smith, A Catalogue Raisonée…, vol. III, London 1831, p. 336, no. 285.

Catalogue Note

In this characteristic work by David Teniers from the mid to late 1640s, an elegantly dressed youth is blowing bubbles through a straw using a soapy solution contained in a mussel shell. The blowing of bubbles would have been instantly recognized in Teniers' day as an emblem of Vanitas: bubbles, which last but a few seconds being an obvious symbol of the ephemeral and transient nature of human life. There may be a secondary purpose in this picture to depict two of the four elements: Air and Fire.