ATTRIBUTED TO CHRISTOPH DANIEL SCHENCK (1633-1691) GERMAN, LAKE KONSTANZ, SECOND HALF 17TH CENTURY | Double-Sided Memento Mori Relief
Estimate: 3,000 - 5,000 GBP
ATTRIBUTED TO CHRISTOPH DANIEL SCHENCK (1633-1691)
GERMAN, LAKE KONSTANZ, SECOND HALF 17TH CENTURY
Double-Sided Memento Mori Relief
6.5 by 4.7cm., 2½ by 1⅞in.
Overall the condition of the ivory is good, with minor dirt and wear to the surface consistent with age, including dust in the crevices. There are a few small areas of loss to the thinly carved background, with some fill residues, notably beside the skeleton's and the woman's heads. There is a circular cavity to the apple at the bottom with some white fill.
"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."
This superbly carved double-sided relief depicting damned souls can be attributed with confidence to Christoph Daniel Schenck, the Lake Konstanz sculptor famous for his virtuoso boxwood and ivory sculpture. Schenck carved several double-sided miniature reliefs in ivory, whose figures are stylistically analogous to those in the present work. Compare, in particular, the penitent female figure with an ivory relief of Saint John (op. cit. no. 4b), as well as a relief with a soul in purgatory (ibid., no. 6). The male faces, are reminiscent of, for example, a boxwood relief with Saint Benno (ibid., no. 9). The present ivory is distinguished by the inventiveness of the composition, with its unusual snake border representing original sin, and the astonishing intricacy of the carving, particularly of the skeleton.
Christoph Daniel Schenck, 1633-1691, exh. cat. Rosgartenmuseum Konstanz (et al.), Sigmaringen, 1996, pp. 118-119, no. 4; pp. 121-122, no. 6; pp. 124-125, no. 9; pp. 141-142, no. 20