acquired from Galerie C. de Bruyn at the Foire des Antiquaires Brussels, 1996
This beautiful bust of a French king compares closely with the historicising 17th-century terracotta sculpture from the Maine region of France. Compare with the statue of Saint Louis from the church of Notre-Dame, Saulges, by Michel II Lemesle (circa 1689-1692). The very pale terracotta and the facture, particularly the hole to the reverse, compares with the 17th-century Virgin and Child group from the church of Saint-Martin in Vouvray-sur-Huisne.
RELATED LITERATURE P. Bardelot, Terre et ciel: La sculpture en terre cuite du Maine XVIe et XVIIe siècles, Paris, 2003, pp. 45, 233
Overall, the condition of the terracotta is good with some dirt and wear to the surface consistent with age. There may be a loss to the crown and a metal pin is inserted to the top of the head. There are a few chips to the terracotta, in particular to the decoration of the crown and to a few areas of the chain around his chest. There is a further slightly larger chip to the bottom edge on the proper right side. There is some wear to the polychromy, including flaking, in particular to the chain, the locks of hair and the bottom edge. There is minor craquelure to the polychromy in areas. "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."