A carved oak lifesize and articulated artist's mannequin, probably French, early 19th century
A carved oak lifesize and articulated artist's mannequin, probably French
early 19th century
fully articulating with peg and ball joints and moveable fingers
160cm. high; 5ft. 3in.
In overall good conserved condition. Overall with minor old marks and scratches consistent with age and use. Very minor chipping in some places, some example to a finger on the left hand and just below the knee on the left leg. The articulations seem to move well. One finger to its right hand is quite fragile and only the two small joints/phalanges closer to the tip of the finger are moving. There are signs of a break to its right foot, which has now been restored. Otherwise, of good appearance.
The lot is sold in the condition it is in at the time of sale. The online condition report is provided to assist you with assessing the condition of the lot and is for guidance purposes only. The images of the lot also form part of the online condition report for the lot provided by Sotheby's. Any reference to condition in the online condition report does not amount to a full description of condition. The online condition report may make reference to particular imperfections of the lot but you should note that the lot may have other faults not expressly referred to in the online condition report of the lot or shown in the online images of the lot. The online condition report may not refer to all faults, restoration, alteration or adaptation because Sotheby's is not a professional conservator or restorer but rather the online condition report is a statement of subjective, qualified opinion genuinely held by Sotheby's (for example, information regarding colour, clarity and weight of gemstones are statements of opinion only and not statements of fact by Sotheby's). Please also note that we do not guarantee, and are not responsible for, any certificate from a gemological laboratory that may accompany the lot. In addition, certain images of the lot provided online may not accurately reflect the actual condition of the lot (for example, the online images may represent colours and shades which are different to the lot's actual colour and shades). For these reasons, the online condition report is not an alternative to taking your own professional advice regarding the condition of the lot. Prospective buyers should also refer to the relevant section the Buying at Auction guide which includes important notices concerning the type of property in this sale. NOTWITHSTANDING THIS ONLINE CONDITION REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD "AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF SALE/BUSINESS APPLICABLE TO THE RESPECTIVE SALE.
Wooden mannequins, also known as lay figures, have been an ever-present element in artist’s studios since at least the Renaissance, found in the ateliers of Michelangelo, Titian, Edgar Degas, Giovanni Boldini and Gustave Courbet among countless others. These obliging and indefatigable models were used to study the figure, with its skeleton and musculature abstracted into geometric forms, and, perhaps more commonly, to recreate the drape of clothing or fabric and the resulting fall of light and shadow over the human form. By the end of the 18th century, demand from artists for accurately proportioned and fully articulating figures was so great that mannequin–makers went to ingenious and extraordinary lengths in order to engineer objects that are works of art in themselves.
An articulated mannequin was sold at Sotheby's New York, 19th century European Art, 6 November 2014, lot 1.