This painting fits into a group of fruit still lifes of similar dimensions attributed to Jan van Kessel II by Klaus and Christina Ertz in their 2012 catalogue raisonné of the Van Kessel family. In particular, the pattern on the blue and white porcelain here is identical to that seen in other fruit still lifes by the artist, and the mischievous squirrels recur in at least one other composition. Dr. Fred Meijer, however, believes this painting and others in the group to be the work of an artist or studio known as the Pseudo-Jan van Kessel II.
The canvas has been lined and the paint surface is stable. A decorative image reads well. A fine web of craquelure is present throughout and is stable without risk of flaking. A small chip (1mm) in the paint surface is visible to the naked eye at the top left just below the frame edge. Repaired losses are visible to the naked eye at the top center edge and along the top right edge, probably in response to frame abrasion. UV inspection reveals a milky varnish that is difficult to read through in the center of the image. Under UV, small areas of retouching are visible along the left, bottom, and right edges, most likely to address frame abrasion, as well as two areas of finely applied retouching to the edge of the table at bottom left and right. The painting can hang as is but would likely benefit from light cleaning. Offered in a decoratively carved gilt wood frame. 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. NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING CONDITION OF A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD "AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF SALE PRINTED IN THE CATALOGUE.