NETHERLANDISH, 17TH CENTURY
MEMENTO MORI RELIEF WITH A PUTTO BLOWING BUBBLES
marble, in an ebonised wood frame
with a label to the reverse printed: 70-jarig bestaan Vereeniging van Handelaren in Oude Kunst in Nederland 2 t/m 12 juni 1983 / Oude Kunst in de Nieuwe Kerk Amsterdam
marble: 29cm., 11½in.
frame: 42cm., 16½in.
Overall the condition of the marble is very good with minor dirt and wear to the surface consistent with age. There are a few naturally occurring inclusions to the marble in areas, including a few larger inclusions to the putto’s proper left thigh, to his lower back, to the drapery at his back, to the marble ground on the left in two places and to the round edge of the relief to the left of the putto’s head.
The condition of the wood frame is very good, with general dirt and wear. There is minor stable splitting to the wood. The decorated border of the frame appears to have been reattached on the right side and there is some glue residue and a minor loss to the wood.
"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."
Christie's London, 15 December 1982, lot 323;
with Kunstzalen A. Vecht, Amsterdam, 2003;
with Otto Naumann, New York;
his sale, Sotheby's New York, 25 January 2007, lot 53
Amsterdam, Nieuwe Kerk, 1983
The image of the putto blowing bubbles symbolises the brevity of life in vanitas pictures of allegories of death. Often seen in paintings of the Baroque period, images may include an inscription: 'Homo bulla est' (Varro), or 'Man is a bubble.'