Property from an English Private Collection
FRANS DE MOMPER
Antwerp 1603 - 1660
The Tower of Babel
signed lower left: F. D. MOMPER.
oil on oak panel
59 x 81.2 cm.; 23¼ x 32 in.
The panel is cradled, flat and stable. The paint surface is fairly clean and the varnish clear and even. The way in which the work is painted and the various washes used mean that the ground layer has been deliberately left visible throughout many parts of the painting. There are several sensitively-restored old horizontal splits in the panel, one of which runs almost the width of the panel, about a third from the upper margin; another that runs almost halfway across from the lower left corner; and another that also runs almost halfway, just below centre from the right-hand margin. Inspection under ultraviolet light reveals at least three campaigns of restoration to the aforementioned splits and to areas of the sky, consisting of horizontal lines of retouching, some wash retouching in the upper left corner, and other scattered spot retouchings. There are also strengthenings in parts of the tower, some of the figures in the foreground, and in the architecture, centre right. In overall fair condition and without a need for further intervention.
"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."
Dr. F. Koser, Berlin;
His posthumous sale, Berlin, Keller & Reiner, 6 – 7 March 1906, lot 82.