Anonymous sale, Cologne, Lempertz, 20 November 2004, lot 1019, where acquired by the present collector for €90,000.
This mature work by Rachel Ruysch, the leading female Dutch painter of the latter half of the seventeenth and the first half of the eighteenth centuries, is dated 1745. The unusual inclusion of her age suggests a degree of pride at having still been capable of producing paintings of such quality past the age of eighty. She was much influenced by Jan Davidsz. De Heem and Abraham Mignon, but was very much sought after in her own right for her distinctive and precise style. The motif of a glass jar upon a marble ledge is also found in the artist's signed masterpiece, dated 1710, sold in these Rooms, 3 July 2013, lot 29, for £1,400,000.
The canvas is unlined, the paint surface is slightly dirty, and the varnish only slightly discoloured and uneven. The blue pigment in the ribbon around the vase has slightly degraded. Inspection under ultraviolet light reveals pin-prick retouchings in the white flowers, the small red bloom centre right, the orange flower centre left, and the red flower lower left, as well as some retouching to some of the green leaves, notably at the top of the composition, the leaf below the orange flower centre left, and around the red rose lower right. There are also a couple of tiny retouchings in the ledge. In overall good condition. "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."