Anonymous sale, New York, Sotheby's, 18 May 2006, lot 96; There acquired by the family of the late collector.
This still life shows an open book with the inscription "Sodoma et Gomora", a reference to the story in the Book of Genesis. In the story, the divine judgment by God was passed upon the neighboring towns of Sodom and Gomorrah, which then were completely consumed by fire. These cities are usually metaphors for vice.
The panel is uncradled, flat, and stable with all four edges beveled. A beautiful and detailed image reads well beneath a slightly dirty varnish. Minor scuffing, possibly as a result of framing, is scattered along the edges, though this is not too distracting and barely noticeable when framed. Inspection under UV shows some scattered retouches, particularly on the globe and draped cloth in the foreground, as well as on the shadows beneath the chest at left. Further inspection under UV is impeded due to a slightly milky varnish. The painting can be hung in its current state. Work is offered in an elaborately carved gilded frame. 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. NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING CONDITION OF A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD "AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF SALE PRINTED IN THE CATALOGUE.