ENGLISH, PROBABLY NOTTINGHAM, 15TH CENTURY
RELIEF WITH THE BEHEADING OF SAINT CATHERINE
alabaster, with traces of gilding and polychromy
44.5 by 28cm., 17⅛ by 11in.
The surface of the alabaster is slightly eroded throughout and there are only a few remnants of polychromy to the surface, in particular to the crevices and to the sword of the executioner on the right side. There are a few losses to the alabaster, including to the heads of the angels at the top right corner of the relief, to the proper right leg and the whip of the left executioner, to king Maximian’s nose, to the right executioner's proper left hand, and to Saint Catherine’s nose. There are further chips and abrasions to the edges and corners. Otherwise the condition of the alabaster is stable with dirt and wear to the surface consistent with age.
"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."
formerly private collection, Belgium
F. Cheetham, Alabaster Images of Medieval England, Woodbridge, 2003, p. 36, no. 11, fig. 28
Francis Cheetham (op. cit. 1984 pp. 90-1 and 2003, figs. 27 and 28) has published different versions of alabaster reliefs with the Beheading of Saint Catherine; the present panel being one of four variants. One other version also shows the Saint after the beheading, the other two are frozen mid-strike, Catherine still kneeling in prayer, the sword about to come down.
F. Cheetham, English Medieval Alabasters, with a Catalogue of the Collection in the Victoria and Albert Museum, Oxford, 1984, pp. 90-91