BALTHASAR VAN DER AST | STILL LIFE WITH A CARNATION AND A CROCUS, TWO SHELLS, AND A DRAGONFLY, SPIDER AND FLIES, ALL ON A STONE LEDGE
The Property of a Gentleman
BALTHASAR VAN DER AST
Middelburg 1593/94 - 1657 Delft
STILL LIFE WITH A CARNATION AND A CROCUS, TWO SHELLS, AND A DRAGONFLY, SPIDER AND FLIES, ALL ON A STONE LEDGE
signed lower centre: ·B· van der. Ast·
oil on copper
unframed: 10.2 x 17 cm.; 4 x 6¾ in.
framed: 18.5 x 25.5 cm.; 7¼ x 10 in.
Please note: Condition 11 of the Conditions of Business for Buyers (Online Only) is not applicable to this lot.
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The copper plate is flat and stable. The paint surface is dirty and the varnish is discoloured. There is a very minor dent in the copper in the background upper right. A handful of small retouchings are visible to the naked eye which include part of the shadow beneath the carnation and in the background above it, and to a pin-prick loss in its very centre. There are some minor surface scuffs along the right margin and a very fine, superficial vertical scratch which extends from the black and white shell to the blue flower. Inspection under ultraviolet light confirms the aforementioned retouchings and otherwise only reveals a handful of spot retouchings. The still life elements appear to be almost entirely untouched. 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."
Small-scale still lifes of informal and modest arrangements of flowers sparsely arranged with shells and insects are among Van der Ast's most appealing works. Comparable signed and undated still lifes of flowers and shells pictured on a ledge, of similar dimensions, include the paintings on copper formerly with Koetser,1 and on display in the Stedelijk Museum Het Prinsenhof, Delft (inv. no. NK 2709).2 A painting of almost identical description, dated 1636, was last recorded in the collection of Jonkheer H. van Rijckevorsel van Kessel, St. Oedenrode, in 1935.3
We are grateful to Dr Fred G. Meijer for his enthusiastic response to the present work, and for suggesting it might also date to around 1636, on the basis of a digital image.
3 See L.J. Bol, The Bosschaert Dynasty. Painters of flowers and fruit, Leigh-on-Sea 1960, p. 75, cat. no. 44.