Property from the SØR Rusche Collection
Breda circa. 1640 - 1707 London
Trompe l'œil with a letter rack holding newspapers, letters, writing equipment and a comb
signed on the letter, centre: Edward Collier / Schilder tot / Leyden
dated twice, upper left on the newspaper, and lower left on the letter: Ano 1706.
oil on canvas
66 x 53.4 cm.; 26 x 21 in.
The canvas is lined, the paint surface is relatively clean and the varnish is clear and even. Inspection under ultraviolet light reveals a restored T-shaped damage (possibly an old tear), in the central letter, 5 by 7 cm, through the words 'Schilder tot Leyden'. There are further small, scattered retouchings in the other papers and in the background to a vertical line, just left of the comb, approx. 6 cm. long. In overall good condition.
"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."
Anonymous sale, London, Robinson and Fisher, 7 May 1936, lot 37;
By whom sold, London, Sotheby's, 16 November 1949, lot 52;
Mr Jonathan W. McCann;
By whom sold, New York, Christie's, 9 June 1978, lot 61;
Carl Schünemann, Bremen, by 1978, from whom acquired.
Münster, Westfälisches Landesmuseum, 25 November 1979 – 24 February 1980; Baden Baden, Kunsthalle, 13 March – 15 June 1980, Stilleben in Europa, no. 261;
's-Hertogenbosch, Het Noordbrabants Museum, Schijn bedriegt: Trompe-l'oeil en de kunst van illusie, 12 October 2013 – 26 January 2014.
The SØR Rusche Collection has been exhibited extensively over the last two decades. Please click here for further information.
W. Bernt, Die Niederländischen Maler und Zeichner des 17. Jahrhunderts, Munich 1980, vol. I, reproduced fig. 264;
G. Langemeyer et al., Stilleben in Europa, exh. cat., 1979, p. 502, cat. no. 261, reproduced in colour p. 504;
Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, 3 January 1980, p. 17, reproduced; and 10 May 1980;
Raupp 2004, pp. 94–97, cat. no. 15, reproduced in colour;
P. Huys-Janssen and S. ten Brink, Schijn bedriegt: Trompe-l'oeil en de kunst van illusie, exh. cat., Eindhoven 2013, pp. 44, 46, reproduced in colour.
Edwaert Collier moved from The Netherlands to London in 1693, when Dutch taste was ascendant following the ascent of the Dutch monarchs William and Mary to the English throne, and was buried in St. James', Piccadilly in 1708, two years after he executed this painting. He had returned to Leiden between 1702–06, but it is unclear as to where the present work might have been painted: it combines a newspaper written in Dutch, a copy of Her Majesty's Speech in English, and a proudly-positioned signature using the English form of his name, but with a Dutch epithet, in the centre of the composition. Collier repeated this arrangement, with variations in the objects, in a number of paintings that testify to considerable demand from both Dutch and English markets. It is notable, however, that in his seminal survey of Dutch painting Walter Bernt chose the present work to exemplify the type (see Literature).