The Property of a Gentleman
CIRCLE OF FRANS FLORIS THE ELDER
A BAWDY FEAST
oil on oak panel
unframed: 84.3 x 124.1 cm.; 33⅛ x 48⅞ in.
framed: 102.2 x 142.2 cm.; 40¼ x 56 in.
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Property from Various Owners is available to view at the Sotheby’s Greenford Park warehouse, 13 and 16 – 18 September (10 - 4pm), by appointment.
The following condition report is provided by Simon Folkes who is an external specialist and not an employee of Sotheby's:
The painting is on a moderately thin oak panel consisting of four planks of varying widths glued together along three horizontal joins. The joins themselves are currently sound and there is no evidence of any breakdown of adhesion. Retouching on the front surface indicates that there was an old split line running in from the right hand edge in the bottom plank but this also now appears quite stable.
At some point in the past the back of the panel appears to have been thinned, presumably before the nine fixed members of the cradle structure were glued on along the line of the wood grain. The evidence is in the exposed channels made by wood worm which can be seen in several places between the cradle bars and this may have weakened the structure a little in these areas. The moveable members of the cradle structure, known as "runners", have also been removed. This was presumably done to prevent the panel splitting along these weakened lines which could easily have happened if it had tried to warp while under the constraints of the "runners".
The paint layers are generally in very good condition for a picture of this age. While it is a little thin in some of the darker areas such as under the arch on the upper right side of the painting, it has survived with very few damages of any significance. The largest repaired damage is in the sky at the upper left side where the picture has lost some paint as a result of flaking but even this is relatively small in relation to the size of the overall painting. Under UV light it is also possible to see a general scattering of small retouchings across the work, mainly covering little losses and abrasions, as well as along the joins in the panel mentioned above. It is quite likely that these restorations are in themselves rather larger than might be necessary and that if the painting was cleaned many of them could be greatly reduced or even dispensed with altogether.
The painting has a relatively clear varnish coating which has only moderately discoloured.
"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."
Please note, Condition 11 of the Conditions of Business for Buyers (Online Only) is not applicable to this lot.
H. Stacy Marks, R.A. (1829–1898);
His posthumous sale, London, Christie's, 26 March 1898, lot 213 (as Barend van Orley);
Anonymous sale, London, Christie's, 12 March 1926, lot 109, to Saryle (as Frans Floris);
Anonymous sale, Amsterdam, Paul Brandt, 6 June 1961, lot 61 (as Attributed to the Master of the Prodigal Son);
Anonymous sale ('The Property of a Lady'), Amsterdam, Sotheby's, 7 November 2000, lot 39, for NLG 55,000 hammer (as School of Bruges, second half of the 16th Century);
Where acquired by the present owner.