Bresset collection, France, by 1972; private collection, Belgium
J. Boccador, Statuaire Médiévale de Collection, Paris,1972, vol. II, fig. 47
Depicting the rare subject of the Virgin nursing the Christ Child, this intriguing group was thought by Boccador (op. cit.) to be a late 14th-century work from the Upper Rhine region. Stylistically, an origin in the mid-15th century in the same region, or possibly in Eastern France, seems more likely. For the concentric folds of drapery, in particular, compare a stone Virgin and Child from Lorraine in the Bayerisches Nationalmuseum (Müller, op. cit., no. 114). The Virgin's almond-shaped eyes, small mouth, and wavy strands of hair relate to the work of the Strasburg master sculptor Niclaus Gerhaert van Leyden (see Roller, op. cit., cat. no. 3a).
RELATED LITERATURE T. Müller, Die Bildwerke in Holz, Ton und Stein von der Mitte des XV. bis gegen Mitte des XVI. Jahrhunderts, cat. Bayerisches Nationalmuseum, Munich, 1959, pp. 125-127; S. Roller (ed.), Niclaus Gerhaert: Der Bildhauer des späten Mittelalters, exh. cat. Liebieghaus, Frankfurt a. Main and Musée de l'Œuvre Notre-Dame, Strasbourg, Petersberg, 2011, pp. 211-214
There is some general wear and dirt to the surface consistent with age. There are losses to the Child's proper right arm, His proper right foot, the Virgin's proper left hand, sections of her scroll on both sides, and to the front corners of the base. There are few more minor losses and chips, including to the edges of the drapery and the Virgin's crown. There are restored breaks, with some fill, around the Virgin's neck and through the Child's body. There is probably recarving to the Virgin's face, and possibly further restorations to the drapery. There is some fill to the tip of the Virgin's nose. The inscription on the banner has largely faded. There are traces of a slip to the surface throughout. "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."