SOUTHERN NETHERANDISH, MALINES, SECOND HALF 16TH CENTURY
HOUSE ALTAR WITH THE LAST SUPPER
partially gilt alabaster, in a gilt and polychromed wood frame, on a later wood and velvet lined board
alabaster: 24 by 19 cm., 9½by 7½in.
66 by 49 cm., 26 by 19¼in. overall
The condition of the central alabaster relief is good overall, with dirt and wear to the surface consistent with age. There are some restored breaks to the stone, including two diagonal breaks that convene in the centre of the canopy behind Christ.There is rubbing to the high points and to the gilding throughout. There is a loss to the alabaster of the lunette with God the Father to the lower left side. There is a vertical restored break running through God’s proper left arm. It is likely that the house altar originally consisted of 3 tiers, with another tier between the relief with God the Father and the central relief. This part is now lost. Part of the square frame around the central relief is later. The original parts of the frame, which include the ornaments with putti decorations, have been applied to a later backboard. There are small losses to the wood throughout, including to the faces of the putti and to the edges of the wood. There is stable splitting to the wood and there are some restored breaks. There is wear to the cloth lining of the backboard. There are a few minor chips to the outer edge.
"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."
The central alabaster relief in the present lot is identical in composition to a House Altar in the Rijksmuseum (inv. no. NK-NM-2918), exhibited in Brussels in the 1967 exhibition of English and Malines alabasters (op. cit. no. M/6, fig. 18). Although part of the elaborate frame of the present lot appears to have been lost, it does, in contrast to the Rijksmuseum version, preserve the traditional lunette relief of God the Father at the top.
Gh. Derveaux-Van Ussel, Exposition de Sculptures anglaises et malinoises d'Albâtre, exh. cat. Musées royaux d'Art et d'Histoire, Brussels, 1967, cat. no. 42-43, fig. 18