The following condition report is provided by Henry Gentle who is an external specialist and not an employee of Sotheby's:
Spanish School 17th C
Still life of skulls
Oil on canvas, in a gilt wood frame
The original canvas is lined. The paint layer is stable and secure; under raking light it is slightly raised and small amount of pitted loss is present.
The bottom 3cm of the painting is a later restored addition.
The paint layer is in a good preserved condition. Under u-v light scattered minor restored loss can be detected through the skulls; overall , the texture, particularly to the highlighted areas, is in a good original state.
There is a residue of old varnish to the background giving an opacity to the paint; its removal would allow the background to present a greater contrast to the paleness of the skulls.
A filigree of pale shrinkage cracks is in evidence and some of the shadows have been slightly augmented.
Generally, in good original condition.
"This lot is offered for sale subject to Sotheby's Conditions of Business, which are available on request and printed in Sotheby's sale catalogues. The independent reports contained in this document are provided for prospective bidders' information only and without warranty by Sotheby's or the Seller."