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Mirabilia

Suite 744, 2 Old Brompton Road, London sw7 3dq, uk Tel : 020 7413 9937, Fax : 020 7581 4445 Mobile : 07836684133 / 07768236921 Email : enquiries@finch-and-co.co.uk Website : www.finch-and-co.co.uk


[1] Native American Plains Lakota Sioux Swept Back Eagle Feather War Bonnet A Skull Cap of Tanned Deer Hide with Sinew Attached Immature Eagle Feathers and Central Flying Plume of Fluff or Breath Feathers a Brow-Band Sewn to the Edge of Cap above the Forehead Trimmed with Glass Seed Beads and with Thirty Golden Eagle Feathers Attached with Strips of Red Trade Cloth Edged with Red Dyed Horse Hair Danglers to each side Composed of Strips of Silk Muslin Cotton and Owl Feathers Circa 1870–1900 s i z e : approx : 40 cm high, 60 cm deep, 45 cm wide – 15¾ ins high, 23½ ins deep, 17¾ wide p rov e na nc e   : Ex Collection Mario Luraschi, Paris Ex Private European collection Nothing is more symbolic of the Plains Indian than the eagle feather headdress worn by chiefs and other high ranking oYcers in tribal military society. The eagle feathered bonnet signified a warriors prowess in battle and is thought to have originated with the Crow or Sioux. Pictorial evidence indicates that the swept back war bonnet was developed and accepted as a symbol of prestige among the central and Northern Plains tribes by the early 1800’s. A young Pawnee brave Petalesharro was painted by Charles Bird King in 1822 wearing a flaring headdress of eagle feathers trimmed with ermine skins. Edwin Denig, a factor for the American Fur company in the 1850’s at Fort Union, near the junction of the Yellowstone and Missouri rivers, reported that the Assiniboin were willing to pay two horses for two tails of the war eagle, each containing twelve feathers, if the feathers were wrought into a cap. The feather of an eagle symbolised the highest honour that a warrior could win. An eagle feather war bonnet could only be worn by an individual who had gained the respect of the leading men in the community and who had gained war honours. The number of feathers indicated the number of captures and scalps taken in battle. The soft downy immature eagle feathers used on the headdress were symbolic of mysterious forces, their continuous fine fluttering movement suggesting communications with the supernatural powers.


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[2] A Fine Derbyshire Blue John Tazza on a Tall Knopped Stem and Spreading Tiered Foot Early 19th Century

s i z e : 17 cm high, 16 cm dia. – 6¾ ins high, 6¼ ins dia. s e e : Finch & Co catalogue no.8, item no.85, for another Blue John Tazza Blue John, a type of fluorspar, is unique to Derbyshire and has been valued for its beauty and colour for hundreds of years. Pliny writing in the 1st century ad noted a material he called Murrhine which he said was approaching the colour of wine and had great variety of colours and the wreathed veins....present shades of purple and white with a mixture of the two; the purple gradually changing as it were to a fiery red and the milk white assuming a ruddy hue. Pliny also commented in his Natural History that murrhine vessels were for taking drinks that are either hot or cold and that a person of consular rank grew so passionately fond of his cup as to gnaw its edges. The Emperor Nero is said to have paid a vast sum for one cup as it was thought to make the wine taste better. Although probably discovered by the Romans when mining for lead, the earliest known use of Blue John as an ornamental stone in Britain is in the mid 18th century.


[3] A Pair of Chinese Canton Carved Ivory Model Pagodas

Each Tier Hung with Bells the Structure Surrounded by a Fenced Garden Terrace with Temple Gates in which Chinese Court Dignitaries Stand with Tables Laden with Precious Objects the Garden Displaying Scholars Rocks Flowering Plants in Pots and Ornamental Trees Qing Dynasty / Late 18th – Early 19th Century s i z e : 66 cm high, 25 cm wide, 29 cm deep – 26 ins high, 10 ins wide, 11½ ins deep p rov e na nc e   : Finch & Co catalogue no.3, item no.28 Ex Private collection c f : A similar Cantonese Ivory Boat brought back to England in 1803 by Mr Richard Hall (1764–1834) is in the Victoria and Albert Museum A.6-1936 Of all the objects the Chinese craftsmen in Canton could produce for the export market nothing more intrigued the Europeans and Americans than the carvings of ivory, mother-of-pearl, tortoiseshell, sandalwood, alabaster and hard-stone. A white alabaster pagoda with carved and gilded bells and painted figures exists in the Peabody Museum of Salem which was brought there before 1801 and donated to the East India Marine Society. It is similar in design, size and quality to these two models, but pieces such as these were the exception rather than the rule, the majority were somewhat crudely executed. Model pagodas were more often made of soapstone, jadeite or alabaster which the Chinese had been famous for carving for centuries, rather than producing large scale models in ivory. It is therefore probable that these were especially carved for an exhibition or as a commission. From the early 18th century carvings in ivory formed a lucrative and influential part of the export trade that passed through the port of Canton. John Barrow in his book Travels in China of 1804 stated that of all the mechanical arts that in which they seem to have attained the highest degree of perfection is the cutting of ivory.


[4] A Fine Italian Neapolitan Piqué et Posé Gold and Mother of Pearl Inlaid Tortoiseshell Box with Silver Mounts Mid 18th Century

s i z e : 2 cm high, 8 cm wide, 5.5 cm deep – ¾ ins high, 3 ins wide, 2¼ ins deep s e e : Finch & Co catalogue no.14, item no.6, for an Inlaid Neapolitan Tortoiseshell Casket The technique of piqué in tortoiseshell was known throughout Europe in the 17th and 18th centuries, but the best quality came from the workshops of the Neapolitan craftsmen called Tabaci Tartaruga. These craftsmen co-operated with the makers of musical instruments, clocks, furniture and cabinets producing inlay where it was required. As makers of fine inlaid boxes, trays, candlesticks and other luxuries they were unsurpassed. One member of the Tabaci Tartaruga, Antonio Laurentis, was appointed goldsmith to the Court of Naples in 1747.


[5] A German Heart Shaped Tortoiseshell Gun Powder or Priming Flask with Engraved Silver Mounts and Stopper with attached Chain Late 17th Century

s i z e : 10 cm high, 7.5 cm wide, 2.5 cm deep – 4 ins high, 3 ins wide, 1 ins deep s e e : Finch & Co catalogue no.22, item no.71, for an Austrian carved Hippopotamus tooth powder flask Powder or priming flasks made of exotic natural materials were often produced for show rather than as serious hunting accoutrements used to carry gunpowder for charging a muzzle loading gun. They were fashion accessories worn with the hunting dress of the period and functioned as prestige objects.


[6] An Exceptional Sailors Scrimshaw Whalebone and Sperm Whale Tooth Walking Cane the Handle Carved as a TurksHead Knot the Octagonal Shaft Decorated with Diamond and Roundel Motifs of Tortoiseshell Inlay First Half 19th Century

s i z e : 89 cm long – 35 ins long Charles Murphy, third mate on a whaling ship wrote a poem about a whaling voyage of the years 1820 to 1823. Entitled A Journal of a Whaling Voyage on board ship Dauphin of Nantucket he expressed in two short stanzas the anticipation every crew member felt regarding their long voyage home….. And having fitted well our ship To pass Cape Horn again, Each man then fore and aft the ship, Scrimshawing did begin. Then knitting-sheaths and jagging-knives Were cut in every form, And other trinkets for the girls, As presents from Cape Horn.


[7] An English Silver Mounted Coconut Cup Carved with Hercules Slaying a Dragon, a Large Snake Entwined around a Bull and an Eagle all in an Exotic South Sea Island Landscape Makers mark to the foot rim I ∙I 18th Century

s i z e : 14.5 cm high, 10 cm dia. – 5¾ ins high, 4 ins dia. Natural curiosities and exotic materials were often turned into extravagant drinking vessels not designed for use, but kept for display where they could be admired by the privileged few. The hairy naked man depicted holding a cudgel on this cup is taken to be the classical mythological figure of Hercules, but he also represents the Wild Man who since the Middle Ages has been an example of the duality of man’s animal nature. A purely mythical creature, the Wild Man was a literary and artistic invention of the medieval imagination. He was considered close to God as his natural creature and simultaneously as an ungodly animal barred from heaven. He had instinctive knowledge of the ways of wild beasts and was a skilled hunter, but in spite of his physical supremacy he shrank from contact with humans. His brutish contentious nature expressed itself in a natural combativeness against which neither beast nor man was equal, though his club, and sometimes only his bare hands, was his only weapon.


[8] Indo-Portuguese Goa Pierced Work Silver Bezoar Case Containing a Bezoar Concretion 17th Century

s i z e : 4 cm high, 3.8 cm dia. – 1½ ins high, 1½ ins dia. s e e : Finch & Co catalogue no.12, item no.62, for a cased Bezoar Stone Regarded as a powerful medical antidote to poison and a remedy for many kinds of disease, bezoars became luxury items having silver filigree and pierced work cases made for them. Many of these were exported from Goa in the 17th century. The term bezoar was given to balls of hair and acid that formed in the stomachs of Central Asian Bezoar goats. The word comes from bad-sahr a Persian term for antidote. Natural bezoar were so highly regarded as a remedy, and demand for them became so intense, that a Jesuit lay brother called Gaspar Antonio in the apothecary of the Colegio de St Paulo in Goa invented a synthetic form. The exact 17th century recipe for his Pedra Cordial remained a secret, but it is thought he used a compound of several apotropaic substances. Mixing powdered unicorn horn (narwhal tusk) with sperm whale ambergris, red and white coral, emerald dust and pulverised pearls with genuine bezoar together with soil, resin and musk he rolled the resulting compound into small balls. These he sold and exported as bezoar making a small fortune for his Jesuit order.


[9] A Fine Democratic Republic of Congo Wongo Peoples Carved Hardwood Cephalomorphic Ceremonial Palm Wine Cup of Fine Form Superb Smooth Silky Patina with Traces of Old Powdered Tool in the Crevices Early 20th Century

s i z e : 23.5 cm high, 11 cm wide, 8.5 cm deep – 9¼ ins high, 4¼ ins wide, 3¼ ins deep 27.5 cm high – 10¾ ins high (including base) p rov e na nc e   : Ex Belgian Colonial Missionary Family Ex Belgian Collection Jacques Van Overstracten Ex European Private collection c f : The British Museum has a similar style of cup (1910 :4-20-2) collected by Emil Torday in 1910 described as Wongo and Lele Another in the Berlin Ethnographical Museum was acquired in 1904 from Leo Frobenius (IIIC-19659) The application of red-powdered tool to the surface of figural cups parallels its use by the Wongo and Kuba on their bodies. Tool is created from a mixture of ground camwood and palm oil. Many men and women liberally covered their heads and bodies with this mixture adding a distinctive reddish tonality to their skin. This cosmetic application is often evident in the crevices of these cups. The Wongo are a people related to the Kuba living to their west. There can be no doubt that their art and culture and that of their Kuba neighbours is exceptional. In 1911 Emil Torday wrote the most un-African shapes are found amongst the tribes related to the Bushango, (he was referring to the Wongo and Lele). In this short sentence the seeds were sown for the early 20th century theory that the origins of Kuba art lay in a previously existing Christian African kingdom; a lost culture once in touch with a world beyond Africa. It was thought that art so exceptional could not have evolved and been produced in the Dark Continent without any form of contact with the West. Eventually it was realised and accepted that it was a purely African achievement, produced to a consistently high level over many generations with a practised mastery of materials. These ceremonial palm wine cups were regarded as highly prized prestige objects and were used typically by men at social gatherings or in a ritual context. Acting as both conversation pieces and as indicators of status the head-shaped vessels would be passed from person to person and admired for their shape and representation. Sadly today they have been replaced by cups made of plastic, glass and metal.


[10] Two German Bavarian Silver Mounted Hunting Amulets Charivari the Upper Jaw of a Weasel or Stoat and the Horn of a Young Roebuck 18th Century

s i z e s : 2 cm high, 3.5 cm deep – ¾ ins high, 1¼ ins deep and 4 cm long – 1½ ins long s e e : Finch & Co catalogue no.17, item no.95, and catalogue no.11, item no.62, for other examples A charivari is worn by a hunter as a talismanic amulet to protect him from danger and to appease and calm his intended prey. By wearing the amulet from his belt the hunter assumes the natural attributes of the animal and takes on its success in hunting. Stoats and weasels are deadly, quick and silent killers.


[11] A Dutch Falconry Bonnet by Mollen for a Gyrfalcon Late 19th Century

s i z e : approx : 14 cm high – 5½ ins high s e e : Finch & Co catalogue no.23, item no.19, for two other examples Adriann Mollen became famous for his technical skill in producing falconry equipment, but it was as Prince Alexander of the Netherlands professional falconer that he first established his reputation. The Prince was the president of the Royal Loo Hawking Club and in the area surrounding the Palace of Het Loo he developed, together with Mollen, the best natural conditions for heron falconry. The estate was also on a migration route for peregrine falcons which were caught and trained for hunting. Many of these birds were presented as gifts to various 19th century European Royal dynastic families.


[12] A German Bronze Sculpture of an African Elephant Traces of black lacquer dark brown greenish patina with tooling marks 18th Century

s i z e : 14 cm high, 22 cm wide, 11.5 cm deep – 5½ ins high, 8¾ ins wide, 4½ ins deep s e e : Finch & Co catalogue no.7, item no.83, for a 17th century marble sculpture of an elephant c f : An 18th century German bronze of a Rhinoceros in Lourve, Paris, illustrated; Europaische Bronzestatutten, H.R. Weihrauch, pg. 443 In 17th century northern Europe elephants were still very much a curiosity, a miracle of nature, as only a small number of travellers, traders and explorers had ever really seen one, but by the 18th century cartographers were placing elephants on their maps of Africa to show savannah, bush or forested areas, and the once exotic image began to become more commonplace. Ironically, sport hunting of elephants is still legally allowed with expensive licenses in several African countries even after the implementation of the various international bans or restrictions of the ivory trade. Sport hunted trophies are also exempted under the U.S.A. African Elephant Conservation Act and can legally be imported into America by the person who actually killed the animal. This concept of the trophy, whilst not entirely absent from some African cultures, is alien to most Africans. It was the developed world that taught Africans how to become eYcient killers using modern weapons. They taught Africans to kill for sport. The Africans learnt to kill and take away only trophies, leaving the rest to go to waste. This behaviour is not typically African and the majority of the older population of Africa are horrified by it. The so-called developed world now needs to show Africa how to conserve its elephants, not shoot them. Help will not come for the remainder of Africa’s elephants by the misguided political policies of the West in banning the sale of all antique and ancient ivory works of art. It will come through education and direct intervention with the peoples of the African continent.


[13] A Western Polynesian Fijian Chief ’s Split Whale Tooth Ivory Necklace Waseisei of Twenty Seven Points Mellow Honey Coloured Smooth Patina Early to Mid 19th Century

s i z e : approx : 15 cm long – 6 ins long (longest tooth) 23.5 cm high, 41 cm wide – 9¼ ins high, 16 ins wide (on stand) s e e : Finch & Co catalogue no.20, item no.20, and catalogue no.22, item no.48, for other examples Most of the skilled ivory work on Fiji was carried out by Tongan and Samoan craftsmen Tun Funga Lei working in the service of Fijian chiefs. This form of necklace waseisei has long pointed pendants cut from sperm whale teeth. They were a refinement of the earlier sisi necklace composed of whole uncut pilot whale teeth. Their production was made possible between 1810 and 1850 when the introduction of metal tools and a regular supply of sperm whale teeth from the visiting whaling ships was a frequent occurrence. Prized for their beauty and startling eVect when worn about the neck they were made as chiefly regalia and as important strategic gifts. As highly valued objects they were used to promote alliances, mark successions, reward leading warriors and sometimes to encourage assassinations. The darkened honey colour of the necklace is the result of contact with scented coconut oil applied as a body oil by the wearer.


[14] Three Documentary Interesting English Naive Portraits of the Woodthorpe Brothers William Cobbold Woodthorpe (1791–1860) Captain John Bolton Woodthorpe R.N. (1796–1846) Edward Woodthorpe (b. 1800 –d. ?) Attributed to John Bolton Woodthorpe Oils on Panel One Inscribed to Reverse William Cobbold Woodthorpe in Hudson Bay Coat About 1815 The Other John Bolton Woodthorpe R.N. Circa 1815–1830

s i z e : 31 cm high, 24.5 cm wide – 12¼ ins high, 9¾ ins wide 37 cm high, 32 cm wide – 14½ ins high, 12½ ins wide (framed) c f : The Cree Métis Great Coat worn by W.C. Woodthorpe in his portrait is now on display in the collections of the Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology in the University of Cambridge (1934.151) Another similar is in the Hudson Bay Company Historical Collection at Lower Fort Gary, Canada. John Bolton Woodthorpe’s watercolours including those of his ships are in the Pitt Rivers Museum, Oxford [a] The portrait of William Cobbold Woodthorpe (1791–1860) shows him with a snowshoe, an Indian pipe of peace and wearing a Cree Métis embroidered moose skin great coat. This magnificent coat is now in the collections of the University of Cambridge Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology. It was collected by Woodford whilst working in Canada for the Hudson Bay Company as a fur trader in the early 19th century. In 1841 he returned home to the family farm in Aveley, Essex bringing his coat with him. Prominent travellers such as The Marquis de Lafayette, Duke Paul Wilhelm of Württemberg and John Audubon also returned home with examples of these splendid coats. Made on the Upper Missouri River of moose or elk skin, and decorated with multi-coloured porcupine quillwork, they were popular among the mountain men engaged in the fur trade. Métis women, of mixed French-Canadian descent produced the embroidered coats and traded them at annual fairs at Fort Pierre and Fort Union in the early 19th century. Their Cree and Ojibwa ancestors living by the Red River in Manitoba made long coats decorated with painted designs and loom woven quillwork. The girls of the Métis were taught at mission schools where they became familiar with European floral embroidery. This influenced them to develop a curvilinear style that in combination with Native geometric designs was to become the recognisable hallmark of Métis art. The mixed ancestry of the Métis and their expertise as hunters and trappers made them useful as intermediaries between the Indians and the trade companies. After 1850 the fur trade moved away from the Missouri River and many Métis were assimilated into the regional Indian population.


[b] This portrait shows Lieutenant (later Captain) John Bolton Woodthorpe R.N. (1796–1846) in naval uniform wearing a dress sword, a small telescope in his hand with a ship at sea in the background. Joining the navy in 1809 he became a lieutenant in 1826, Commander in 1828 and Captain in 1842. He is known for his watercolours, some of which are in the Pitt Rivers Museum in Oxford, and for his naval journal. Aboard the HMS Briton, a fifth rate frigate commanded by Sir Thomas Staines, he recorded the rediscovery of Pitcairn Island on the 17th September 1814. His naval log for 1814 to August 16 1815 details the voyage from Chile northward to Peru, and on the islands of Galapagos, Easter and Pitcairn, where they found the Island inhabited by the descendants of Mr F. Christian and Mutinous Crew of the Bounty settled here in ad 1788. Woodthorpe illustrated his journal with watercolours of the Island coasts, and with charts and harbour plans, one of which shows the harbour of Tihuoy in the island of Nooaheevah of Sir Henry Martin’s Marquesas.


Two warships, HMS Briton and HMS Tagus, visited Pitcairn in 1814 and Woodthorpe records that both the Captains were impressed by the mutineer John Adams and the simplicity of the life that the community led. Adams was regarded as a religious leader who set examples for the islanders to live by. The English Captains decided that it would be an act of cruelty and inhumanity to arrest him. He was left on the Island, the last survivor of the Mutiny on the Bounty whilst the ships and Woodthorpe sailed away, but having been rediscovered, the isolation of the Island was over forever. [c] Edward Woodthorpe (born 1800) in his portrait is seated with his spaniel, a rie and game on a shelf. He is shown in the guise of an English gentleman farmer and most probably ran Fanns Farm, the family farm of 260 acres in Aveley, Essex. His parents, Thomas and Dorothy Woodthorpe, had ďŹ ve sons of whom Edward was the youngest.


[15] A Native American Northern Plains Blackfoot Beaded Pipe Bag of Native Tanned Buckskin the Top Shaped in Two Semicircular Flaps with a Single Bead Edging a Central Rectangular Beaded Area Slightly DiVering on the Front and Reverse in a Typical Blackfoot Checkerboard Design the Bottom of the Bag Fringed and Wrapped with Brass Beads Circa 1840–1860

s i z e : 67 cm long, 14 cm wide – 26½ ins long, 5½ ins wide p rov e na nc e   : Ex Charles Ratton, Paris Ex André Schoeller, Paris Ex Private European collection The Blackfoot lived around the upper basin of the Missouri river, a loose confederacy of three tribes. The Plains Indians were always nomadic, but after the introduction of the horse this shifting and spreading of their territories greatly intensified. To Europeans, the Plains tribes epitomised the Wild Indian with their buValo hunts, scalp locks, flying shields and war dances. With their action-packed and dangerous way of life they seemed untamed and romantic, but they thought of themselves as hunters, practical men, their nation well adjusted to living in an economy which dictated small and farflung communities. No band or group was tied to a particular village or hunting ground. The Plains Indian’s home was space, the earth to them was a total environmental unit. In order to cope with this freedom there existed a strong leadership and military discipline. Societies were formed that had ceremonies designed to benefit everyone. They created a highly regimented society with a complicated system of honours and rewards which aimed to dispel the tensions between freedom and responsibility. Beautifully crafted pipes and pipe bags, scalp fringed war shirts, eagle feather bonnets and ceremonial horse trappings were all symbols of authority and supernatural power, they were tribal embodiments of prestige long before they were works of art. To the Native Americans their artefacts were evidence of their fragile relationship with space, the creator and with their disciplined world.


[16] An Ancient Greek Apulian Red Figure Pelike Painted with Mythological Scenes A young woman her hair tied back dressed in a Chiton with a cloak over her arm and holding a mirror a seated nude youth opposite her holding out an offering dish To the reverse Two men wearing Himations one with a staff a trail of vine leaves and flowers to the rim Large Palmettes under the Handles the base painted with Stop Maeanders and Cross Squares. Traces of white overlay and incrustation A crack to the underside of the handle at the neck and a small chip to the underside of the rim 4th Century bc s i z e : 34.5 cm high, 18 cm dia. – 13½ ins high, 7 ins dia. p rov e na nc e   : Acquired in Paris in 1920’s. Ex Private Irish collection c f : A.D. Trendall, The Red Figure Vases. Oxford 1967, Vol II pg; 47 The earliest red figure workshops were set up in Italy by Attic vase painters who moved West following the Peloponnesian War (431–404bc). Although they worked wholly in the Greek tradition as regards shape, subject matter and techniques of manufacture the Apulian potters adjusted their designs with an eye to their Italian market. These vases, of which the most numerous are Apulian, became distinguishable from their Attic counterparts not only by diVerences in shape, which can be subtle or quite obvious, but also by style. Attic and Apulian vases were the products of diVerent worlds, one Ionian Greek with a long tradition of painted ceramics, the other colonial, mostly Dorian Greek, with a strong native element and with a history of importing Attic pottery and drawing inspiration from it for local Italian manufactures.


[17] An Ancient Roman Marble Torso from a Small Votive Statue of Venus Pudica 1st Century ad

s i z e : 6.5 cm high, 6 cm wide, 4 cm deep – 2½ ins high, 2¼ ins wide, 1½ ins deep 10.5 cm high – 4¼ ins high (with stand) Venus was a Latin goddess of the Spring presiding over flower gardens and vines. The 1st of April was sacred to her as the day on which she was worshipped by all Roman women together with Fortuna, the goddess of prosperity. Venus enjoyed various forms of worship corresponding to the Greek cult of Aphrodite, but she had special significance as Genetrix, mother of the Roman people through her son Aeneas. She was especially worshipped as mother of the race of the Jūlii which claimed descent from her grandson Iūlus, and it was on this account that Caesar erected a magnificent temple in her honour in the Forum built by him in 46bc. Hadrian dedicated a double temple to her as mother of the whole Roman race, and as the personification of Rome. This splendid building was completed in 135ad and the ruins can still be seen near the Coliseum.


[18] A Fine Pair of French Ormolu Bronze and White Marble Perfumiers Cassolettes Brûle-Parfums the Tripod Supports Finely Chased with Satyr’s Cloven Hooves and Garlanded with Floral Swags the Pierced Lidded Dish Surmounted with a Flame Finial Attributed to Pierre Philippe Thomire Late 18th – Early 19th Century

s i z e : 29.5 cm high – 11½ ins high p rov e na nc e   : Ex Collection Astrop House, Kings Sutton, Northamptonshire c f : The Wallace collection, London has an example of a Cassolette Brûle Parfum in Ormoulu Bronze with similar floral garlands and goat-like hooves Brûle-Parfums were very popular and fashionable objects during the later years of the reign of Louis XVI. They were also used to hold pot-pourri which Marie Antoinette adored and would have in every room. Pierre Philippe Thomire (1751–1843) was one of the most prominent bronze casters of the late 18th and early 19th century. He was assistant bronzier to Jean-Claude-Thomas Duplessis who besides gilt bronze objects made and designed the mounts for the Sevres porcelain manufactury. When Duplessis died in 1783 Thomire took over his role, and the business of supplying Sevres with gilt bronze mounts kept him solvent throughout the revolution when many other producers went bankrupt. In 1804 Thomire bought the business of a marchard mercier allowing him to sell furniture, sevres porcelain and decorative objects which he produced in his own workshops. In 1809 Napoleon made him Engraver to the Emperor, and as he supplied a large number of pieces to the palaces, in 1811 he became Furniture suppliers to the Majesties. He survived even after Napoleon’s downfall winning numerous medals at various exhibitions. At the height of his business career Thomire employed six or seven hundred workers. He finally retired at 72, but still continued to work as a sculptor exhibiting at the Salon until he was in his eighties.


[19] A Rare Berlin Cast Ironwork Neo-Classical Sculpture of Ariadne and the Panther After The Antique Early 19th Century

s i z e : 18.5 cm high, 14 cm wide, 6.5 cm deep – 7¼ ins high, 5½ ins wide, 2½ ins deep s e e : Finch & Co catalogue no.13, item no.10, for a Berlin Ironwork figure Originating in Silesia, Prussia at the Gleiwitz foundry, decorative objects in cast iron were made from 1800 to 1840 at the Royal Prussian iron foundry in Berlin. Jewellery and small statuary as well as accessories for sewing, writing and smoking were produced. Prussian artists such as Schinkel provided designs in both the Neo-Classical and NeoGothic styles. After Napoleon had marched on Berlin and removed the casting moulds from the foundry a manufactory was begun in France that produced ironwork jewellery Fer de Berlin. The process was labour intensive as moulded wax models were made for each item then pressed into sand to create an impression into which the molten iron was poured. Each piece was then hand-finished and coated with a fine black lacquer.


[20] A Fine Tortoiseshell Gentleman’s Walking Cane with Gold Mounts Late 18th – Early 19th Century

s i z e : 90 cm long – 35½ ins long In 1804 a verse was published in Port Folio which instructed : Hence, view the smart beau, and you soon ascertain The depth of his purse by length of his cane A fashionably dressed gentleman of the 1800’s would always wear a high cane. A leather thong or ribbon would be threaded through the eyelets and the cane hung on the wrist. They became an extension of the arm and gave their owner an elegant air. He could pose and posture with it, challenge, defy, flirt and command, much like a lady could do with her fan. However, by the mid 19th century canes were no longer worn, but rather leant upon or walked with. They became something to swing to the rhythm of one’s pace. Today they are rarely used as a fashion accessory and are sadly regarded as orthopaedic aids for the elderly.


[21] Rare Marquesas Ironwood Ceremonial Stilt Step Tapuvae The curved top incised with diagonal motifs the standing male Tiki figure pierced free of the shaft at its back and head the ears carved as double scrolls in relief clusters of Tattoo motifs at each side of the mouth and on the chin above the eyes a curved head band with feathering the body hands and legs carved with shallow diagonals Dark glossy patina. Patches of wear and surface losses Early 19th Century

s i z e : 34.5 cm high, 7 cm wide, 9.5 cm deep – 13½ ins high, 2¾ ins wide, 3¾ ins deep c f : PanoV Et Al Musée D L’Homme. Trésors Des Îles Marquises. Paris, 1995, page 59; no.148 & 152 for similar examples These curious stilts were attached to long poles of lighter wood and used by the Marquesans in special competitions held as part of important ritual funerary rites for men of rank and status. Special races and individual contests took place in which the participants attempted to knock one another to the ground. They are one of the most distinctive of Marquesas art forms and were made by special craftsmen known as Tuhuka Vaeake. The shallow striated lines covering the body of the tiki suggests tattooing. The headband and curved section above the figure probably represents the shape of a feather headdress. Georg Heinrich von LangsdorV writing in his Voyages and Travels… published in 1813 wrote : The best runners on stilts, who perform at the public dancing festivals are tabooed for three days before; they do not, in consequence, go out, are well fed and have no intercourse with their wives. This is probably with a view to increasing their strength….


[22] A Rare Large German Turned Blond Rhinoceros Horn Cup and Cover Raised on an Integral Pedestal Foot Smooth silky patina, two small age cracks to the neck Late 17th – Early 18th Century

s i z e : 20 cm high 11.5 cm dia. – 8 ins high, 4½ ins dia. p rov e na nc e   : Ex Michael Sinclair Wellby Collection (1928–2012) Thence by Descent s e e : Finch & Co catalogue no.20, item no.48, for a large German Renaissance turned Rhinoceros horn bowl Rhinoceros horn was held in universally high regard because of the apotropaic properties it was thought to possess. Desired across Europe by Princely court collectors it became literally worth its weight in gold. In 1714 Michael Bernhard Valentini wrote in his Museum Museorum : ….the powers of this horn are quite equal to those of the unicorn.... beakers and bowls are turned from it....with which some when they drink from them, above all, seek to safeguard themselves from poison. The newly invented art of virtuosity turning in ivory, rhinoceros horn and exotic woods was regarded in the Renaissance as a form of advanced mechanical technology admirably suited as a pastime for Princes. In 1578 the artist Georg Wecker became Dresden’s Court Turner for Life to the Elector Augustus of Saxony.


[23] A Japanese Red Lacquer and Gilded Cypress Wood Nō Mask Depicting Tengu the Heavenly Dog An ink inscription to reverse Old smooth patina with signs of use as a Dance Mask Edo Period–Mid 19th Century

s i z e : 26 cm high, 19 cm wide, 16.5 cm deep – 10¼ ins high, 7½ ins wide, 6½ ins deep In Japan Tengu were once thought to be disruptive demons and harbingers of war, they are now considered to be protective, although still dangerous, spirits of the mountains and forests. The earliest Tengu were depicted with beaks as they were thought to take the forms of birds of prey, but over time this has become an unnaturally long phallic human nose which is now Tengu’s defining characteristic. The elegant and elaborate Japanese Nō dance-drama developed in the 14th century from a number of earlier forms and has retained its popularity. The boldly dynamic, grotesque or subtly eloquent dance masks are worn by the principal performers to symbolically represent every conceivable mood or emotion. As Nō masks are worn for a long time throughout the complex plot they are carved from a lighter wood than many of the earlier forms. At first their manufacture was a side line of the Temple Shrine image makers, but the craft eventually became the specialised trade of certain families, some of whom claimed their work was Tenka Ichi, that is, unsurpassed under heaven.


[24] An Unusually Small Blond Carapace of an Amazonian River Turtle Podomis Expansa 19th Century

s i z e : 50 cm high, 38 cm wide – 19¾ ins high, 15 ins wide Podomis Expansa is commonly known as the Arrau River Turtle or charapa in Brazil. Mature females can grow to be over two feet long and weigh up to a hundred pounds. They are distributed across the entire Amazonian river system of Brazil and beyond. Individuals have been seen washed up on the beaches of Trinidad caused by the Orinoco river in flood. They are entirely herbivorous and share many similarities with sea turtles. They can be just as large when mature and also congregate in considerable numbers to nest in the dry season when the sand banks are exposed.


[25] A Victorian Taxidermy Specimen of a South African Temmincks Pangolin 19th Century

s i z e : 70 cm long – 27½ ins long s e e : Finch & Co catalogue no.8, item no.7, and catalogue no.11, item no.18, for two other examples Similar in shape to an armadillo or an anteater, the pangolin has curious, bony overlapping scales that act both as body armour and as camouflage. The scales are moveable and hard edged. They probably developed from modified hairs like a rhinoceros horn. They do not have teeth, but have an extremely long protrusible tongue in an elongated head which is used to catch insect prey consisting mostly of termites and ants whose mounds and nests it rips apart with its claws. These are ground to a pulp in its muscular horny surfaced stomach.


[26] A Fine Democratic Republic of Congo Kuba Peoples Ceremonial Palm Wine Vessel in the Form of a Drum the Handle Carved as an Abstract Human Form Fine old smooth silky dark brown patina 19th Century

s i z e : 22.5 cm high 10 cm dia. (max) – 9 ins high, 4 ins dia. (max) p rov e na nc e   : Ex Belgian Private collection. Ex Pierre Dartevelle Ex European Private collection c f : The Lawrence Gussman Collection in the Israel Museum, Jerusalem has a similar example (B97.0021) Of beaker form this cup is carved as a representation of a Kuba drum supported by four broad curved legs that attach the drum to a circular base. Also typical of Kuba decorated drums is the addition of a carved wooden handle that suggests a human body in abbreviated form; a head and neck that merge into a wrist and hand. The curved form of the wrist and hand stylistically echoes the shape of the legs. The incised surface decoration also is like that on some elaborately carved Kuba drums. The Kuba produce several styles of tall and short drums that are an essential component of all dance performances. Their appearance is principally associated with funerary rites where dances are held in honour of the deceased individual. It is therefore possible that these drum-shaped palm wine vessels, by replicating the shape of a particular funerary drum, were used to ceremonially honour deceased ancestors.


[27] A Fine Democratic Republic of Congo Kuba Peoples Ceremonial Palm Wine Vessel in the Form of a Drum the Handle Carved as an Abstract Human Form Fine old smooth silky dark brown patina 19th Century

s i z e : 17 cm high, 11.5 cm dia. (max) – 6¾ ins high, 4½ ins dia. (max) p rov e na nc e   : Ex European Private collection The incised geometric patterns that covers the surface of this small ceremonial palm wine cup is the same as that found on Kuba textiles. Kuba artists often made their designs dynamic by avoiding exact repetition or symmetry as can be seen in this vessel. The handle is carved as a visual pun for the entertainment and consideration of the drinker, and is characteristic of the handles found on both palm wine vessels and on Kuba drums. As prestige items the cups would be shown by an elder to his peers for their admiration and respect.


[28] A French Anatomical Specimen of a Disarticulated Human Skull Contained in a two tiered paper box Circa 1870 – 1890

s i z e : Box : 21 cm high, 18.5 cm dia. – 8¼ ins high, 7¼ ins dia. p rov e na nc e   : Ex Private collection of an English osteopath During the 18th century disease began to be linked to changes that could be detected by examining bodies either before or after death, and as a result a thorough knowledge of anatomy became the norm. From 1750 to 1850 medical students were expected to learn how to dissect and to preserve, and it was with human body parts that they were taught anatomy. Disarticulated skulls consisting of all the bony parts of the human skull broken down and compartmentalised, enabled the student to learn about each section, and its place and function, by reforming the skull into a whole like a jigsaw puzzle.


[29] An English Bronze Ecorché Male Figure Cast by Edward Burch (1730–1814) After a Model by Michael Henry Spang Late 18th Century

s i z e : 25 cm high – 9¾ ins high p rov e na nc e   : Ex Collection the Earls of Warwick, Warwick Castle, listed in 1900 (Heirlooms) in the Armoury Passage as Antique Bronze of Skeleton Sold Sothebys, Syon Park, May 1997; Lot 9. Ex English Private collection c f : Other examples in V&A Museum. Bode Museum, Berlin. The Louvre, Paris These ecorché figures were once attributed to Italian renaissance artists. Wilhelm Bode classified one in the hall of bronzes in the Kaiser Friedrich Museum in Berlin, now the Bode Museum, as Venetian 16th century. However, Dr William Hunter, who was both a physician and teacher at the St Martins Lane Academy of Art in about 1750, had dissected and flayed the corpse of a condemned criminal and then meticulously made a life size plaster model of it. He used this for teaching life drawing and the model was moved with the art school to the new Royal Academy in 1767. The artist John ZoVany then portrayed Hunter with the life size ecorché figure in two paintings. It is thought that the Danish artist Michael Henry Spang [active 1750–67] studied anatomy with Hunter in St Martins Lane and made a wax reduction of the plaster figure which Spang exhibited at the Society of Artists in 1761. Soon after this he died and Hunter acquired the wax. Edward Burch was then employed by Hunter to cast a version in bronze after the wax in order to provide artists with a portable version of his life size anatomical figure.


[30] A Burmese Buddhist Palm Leaf Manuscript Ritual Text Bound in Two Finely Carved Bone Book Covers Decorated with Dancing Figures a Crab with a Fish and Buddha as a Lion Enclosed by Silver Clasps the Text Incised with a Stylus Late 18th – Early 19th Century s i z e : 6 cm high, 50 cm wide, 3 cm deep – 2¼ ins high, 19¾ ins wide, 1¼ ins deep p rov e na nc e   : Ex English Private collection Buddhism is more pervasive in Burma than in any other country with gleaming whitewashed or gilded temples everywhere. Almost every village supports a monastery and early every morning saVron robed monks make their rounds to receive food from


the people. To most Burmese, national identity is inseparable from their faith. Sometimes called Kammavaca these ritual texts represent a continuity of ceremonies from the earliest times, and are read aloud at monastic assemblies. The most important text is concerned with higher ordination, others with the bestowing of robes, electing elders, the dedication of monasteries and the release from monastic vows. They are a selection of rules prescribed for monastic ritual and discipline. Burmese palm ola leaf manuscripts are protected by cover-boards usually of lacquered wood rather than of bone. The number of leaves varies, as does the number of lines of script, either etched or painted on each leaf. The leaves are pierced for a string which holds the bundle together permitting each leaf to be turned. The manuscripts were often commissioned by donors for presentation to monasteries and it is only Burma that has continued the tradition of producing these ornate and decorative ritual texts.


[31] A Mahogany Cased Geological Collection of Minerals and Metal Ores from Around the World Comprising Three Trays of Specimens in Numbered Order 1–160 Contained in a Paper Box or Glass Tube Together with a Handwritten Catalogue Dated 1899 Listing the Name and Location of Each One Variously Gold Bearing Quartzite, Tasmania, Native Silver Mexico, Haematite Cumberland – Complete and with Key Three trade labels pasted inside lid S. Henson Mineralogist 97 Regent St London W Late 19th Century s i z e : 13 cm high, 39 cm wide, 25.5 cm deep – 5 ins high, 15¼ ins wide, 10 ins deep s e e : Finch & Co catalogue no.17, item no.40, for another cased set of specimens The fascination with geology, natural history and the study of science began in earnest in the 16th century with the birth of the Renaissance. The discovery of new and exotic curiosities from unseen lands began to promote the emergence of an intellectual elite with a passion for collecting, cataloguing and understanding the natural world and all its works. By the end of the 19th century amateur scholars travelled and corresponded with one another on the subject of fossils, minerals, geology, botany and shells, all of which were ordered and placed into study cabinets. Collections such as this were often used as educational aids to teach Victorian pupils the rudiments of the natural sciences.


[32] An English Medieval Limestone Grotesque of a Priapic Grimacing Hunch Backed Dwarf 1st Half 15th Century

s i z e : 27 cm high, 20 cm wide, 30.5 cm deep – 10½ ins high, 8 ins wide, 12 ins deep 38.5 cm high – 15¼ ins high (with stand) p rov e na nc e   : Found near Barnsley, South Yorkshire Ex English Private collection Ex French Private collection s e e : Finch and Co catalogue no.20, item no.32, for an Ancient Roman Bronze of a Grotesque Dwarf This figure squatting on his haunches, exposing his genitals, with a short thickset body is referred to in the West Country of England as a Hunky Punk. Medieval elaborate carved stone grotesque figures were used to visually break up straight sections of masonry on church buildings, but the medieval mason was also displaying his artistry and wit. Figures such as this represent an association with magical ancient powers and were hoped to ward oV and dissipate evil spirits. The exposed sexual organs were believed to generate a protective force, and as the ancient Romans had believed, the phallus was a votive amulet capable of driving out demons. The Romans also valued dwarves for their apotropaic and tutelary qualities, and the medieval mason has exaggerated all the features of his body for maximum visual impact highlighting his grimacing countenance. For the Christian church the purpose of these carvings was to lend iconographic support to their moral teachings.


[33] A Bering Sea Inuit Salmon Priest or Club Anautag made from a Fossilised Seal’s Penis Bone 18th Century

s i z e : 34 cm long – 13½ ins long s e e : Finch & Co catalogue no.6, item no.15, for two larger Bering Sea Inuit Penis Bone Clubs Several species of salmon ascend the rivers of the Bering Sea coast from June to October and because of their great numbers they provide a large and relatively stable food and oil resource. Fish are a principle food for both men and dogs so surplus fish were dried or frozen for use in lean seasons when there was little else for people to eat. The skin of the fish was also used for light foul weather parkas, boots and for water resistant bags. Seals are the chief predator of fish and so this club made from a seal’s penis bone is a spiritually compatible hunting tool.

[34] A Bering Sea Inuit Walrus Ivory Labret Tuutat Carved in the Form of the Tail of a Bowhead Whale Old smooth creamy patina 19th Century

s i z e : 3.5 cm long, 3 cm wide – 1½ ins long, 1¼ ins wide Labret styles vary from region to region, but often in areas where whaling was of importance to the community labrets were carved into the form of a whale diving and worn with the tail exposed. Men remove large labrets from their cheeks when they travel long distances in cold weather to avoid frostbite conducted through the plug. They reinsert the labrets to appear as well dressed guests when they return to the Qasgiq.


[35] A Bering Sea Alaskan Inuit Carved Walrus Ivory Amulet or Gaming Piece of Anthropomorphic Form the Body of a Bird with a Man’s Head The eyes once filled with Pyrites Early 19th Century s i z e : 3.5 cm high – 1¼ ins high p rov e na nc e   : Collected in Nome, Alaska. Ex American collection c f : A Similar Piece from Nome, Alaska, Illustrated in the Fitzhugh Collection 19/3455 in Arctic Art Eskimo Ivory Museum of the American Indian, 1980 The concept of transformation, of men into animals and birds, of birds to animals into men, permeates all aspects of Inuit Eskimo life and is often expressed in carvings such as this example. The idea of transformation is a central part of western Eskimo tradition and a cornerstone of the Raven origin myth, and of the concept of inua, the powerful spirit world of the soul. The ability of men and animals to transform themselves into other beings whilst always retaining their inuas results in an unpredictable world in which one cannot be sure of the true identity of any given creature. Transformations are the reason for the many half creatures that are mentioned in Bering sea stories and mythology and of which examples can be found carved of walrus ivory, often as drag handles, such as the man-seal or the walrus-dog.


[36] An Italian Roman After The Antique Cast Bronze Oval Plaquette Depicting the Head of Caesar Augustus Wearing a Laurel Wreath in his Hair Inscribed Avg Diviem…. Original medium brown patina 17th Century

.

s i z e : 10 cm high, 8 cm wide – 4 ins high, 3 ins wide The most important 17th century collector of bronze plaquettes was Charles I, but other Grand Tourists also formed interesting, albeit smaller, collections. Dr John Bargrave (1610–1680) Canon of Canterbury Cathedral and schoolmate of John Tradescant, in the course of four Grand Tours to the continent made between 1646 and 1670 as a travelling tutor to young men, assembled a modest, but varied collection which is now in the library of Canterbury Cathedral together with his own manuscript catalogue. He recorded in his catalogue that he acquired some of the plaquettes believing them to be Roman antiquities, and described one 15th century bronze plaquette of five putti at play as being dugg out of the Temple of Bacchus. Derived from antique prototypes and often based on ancient intaglio gems, bronze plaquettes appealed to the medallic and coin collector, and to the connoisseur of small antique gems.


[37] A Florentine Oval Bronze Profile Portrait Plaque of Benjamin Franklin Attributed to Giovanni Battista Nini (1717–1786) Signed and dated Fecit Nini 1777 and Impressed with a Crowned Shield and a Thunderbolt Original golden brown lacquered patina. Small crack to top of rim Late 18th Century s i z e : 10 cm high, 8 cm wide – 4 ins high, 3¼ ins wide c f : Yale University Art Gallery has another in their collection 2001.87.23637. Benjamin Franklin (1706–1790) was one of the founding fathers of the United States of America. A renowned polymath, Franklin was a leading author, printer, political theorist, politician, scientist, prodigious inventor, statesman and diplomat. As a scientist he was a major figure in the American enlightenment and the history of physics for his discoveries and theories regarding electricity. He invented the lightning rod, hence the thunderbolt impressed on this plaque. In 1750 he published a proposal for an experiment to prove that lightning is electricity by flying a kite in a storm that appeared capable of becoming a lightning storm. In 1752 Thomas-Francis Dalibord of France conducted the experiment using a 12 metre tall iron rod instead of a kite, successfully extracting electrical sparks from a cloud. In June Franklin performed his experiment in Philadelphia insulated from the charge using his kite to collect electricity from a storm cloud, thereby implying that lightning was electrical. These experiments led him to invent the lightning rod which he believed could protect buildings. Having experimented on his own house, rods were installed on the Academy of Philadelphia and the Pennsylvania State House in 1752. In recognition of his genius he received the Royal Society’s Copley Medal in 1753 and became one of the few 18th century Americans to be elected as a Fellow of the Society in 1756.


[38] A Tongan Vava’U Island Carved Hardwood Headrest Kali Laloni of Classic Form 19th Century

An old paper label to the reverse inscribed Headpillow Vavau Tonga H.M.S. Pylades 1902 On the 11th October 1902, it was reported in the Sydney Morning Herald that the H.M.S Pylades had returned from a four month cruise of duty in the South Seas. The ship had visited Suva, Tongatabu, Kandava and lastly the Gilbert and Ellice Islands. Whilst anchored in Tavuki Bay of Kandava Island for two days : ...the natives arranged what is known as a Meke for the entertainment of the officers and men of the vessel. The celebration created a good deal of interest on board and was much appreciated. Prior to the commencement of the entertainment the gathering of natives formed a ring on the grass and manufactured a quantity of native drink known as Kava. The administrator of the Fijian Islands and the captain and officers of H.M.S Pylades partook of the refreshment provided for them and in doing so pleased the natives. The next item in the programme was a procession of women who brought offerings of fruit and coconuts which were laid at the feet of the visitors. Then came a procession of men who brought offerings and presents of a similar character. The women who were attired in weird varicoloured costumes without any regard to harmony, then danced for the amusement of the officers and crew and sung peculiar native songs. At the conclusion of this contribution the male


natives gave a war dance. They became very excited, created unearthly noises, stamped their feet, shouted at the top of their voices and fiercely engaged in a sham battle… H.M.S Pylades was built for the Royal Navy and launched in 1884 as a satellite class sloop. She commenced service on the Australia station in November 1894 and left in January 1905 s i z e : 14 cm high, 44 cm wide – 5½ ins high, 17¼ ins wide Tongan headrests protected hairstyles and prevented the head, the seat of an individual’s spiritual force or mana from touching the ground and thereby being defiled. Their traditional significance was not just limited to their value as a highly desirable personal possession, they were also used as important bartering objects in ceremonial exchanges.


[39] A Fine English Ivory Profile Portrait Relief of George IV as Prince Regent Early 19th Century

s i z e : 7 cm high, 6 cm wide, 1 cm deep – 2¾ ins high, 2½ ins wide, ½ ins deep George IV (1762–1830) was Regent from 1811 to 1820. As the eldest son of the King he was appointed Regent when George III became increasingly senile at the end of 1810. Although he was a great leader of taste and fashion, an important patron of the arts, and gave his name to the Regency period he was very unpopular. In 1785 he secretly and illegally married a Roman Catholic widow, Maria Fitzherbert. Ten years later he reluctantly married Caroline of Brunswick and separated from her immediately after the birth of their only child, Princess Charlotte. His attempt to divorce Caroline for adultery in 1820 only increased his unpopularity. Both as Regent and King he led a dissolute life and was largely responsible for the decline in power and prestige of the British monarchy in the early 19th century.


[40] An Unusual English Carved Ivory Box Containing an Ivory Geometric Puzzle Perhaps used as a mathematical teaching aid 19th Century s i z e : 4 cm square – 1½ ins square Puzzles became popular in the 18th century as a supplement to formal teaching. Pictorial dissected puzzles, known today as jigsaw puzzles, were essentially educational tools first used to teach geography and history. They were sold by print and map makers. Later in the 19th century these were followed by biblical story and historical event puzzles, sometimes with very Victorian moralising themes. Geometric puzzle boxes were sold at Tunbridge Wells in the 19th century in small square mosaic decorated wooden boxes. The Chinese puzzle globe was a mathematical jigsaw formed as a wooden ball and was probably as diYcult to make as it is to assemble. The pleasure of the game is in solving the puzzle, which is both educational and entertaining.


[41] A German Freundschaftsbilder or an Informal Friendship Portrait the Artist Seated before a Large Canvas Painted with a Visigothic Battle Scene holding his Palette Brushes and Mahl Stick his Eyes Piercing the Viewer Oil on paper laid on artists board Early 19th Century

s i z e : 30.5 cm high, 23.5 cm wide – 12 ins high, 9¼ ins wide (panel) 41 cm high, 32.5 cm wide – 16 ins high, 13¼ ins wide (framed) Informal friendship portraits known as Freundschaftsbilder were particularly popular with German artists in the early 19th century. They were usually painted by another artist of the same circle perhaps as a token of regard. The artist has been given a very theatrical air whilst showing oV all the indications of his profession and the slightly erotic subject matter of his art. His eyes look out from the portrait with a peculiar intensity and are separately focused which may be because it is a self portrait and the artist used a mirror to paint his own image. He sits before a velvet curtain in an embroidered coat and a silk waistcoat, recalling Leonardo da Vinci’s comment that whilst the painter sits at ease in his chair in his fine clothes, the sculptor labours amidst the dust and noise of his workshop.


[42] A Rare New Zealand Maori Woven Flax and Kiwi Feather Presentation Bag Kete Muka Mid to Late 19th Century

s i z e : approx : 22 cm high, 27 cm wide – 8¾ ins high, 10¾ ins wide p rov e na nc e   : An Attached Label Reading : New Zealand Speak Bequest 1932542 and Abbey Museum, New Barnet Ex Ernest Ohly collection, U.K. Thence by Descent c f : British Museum Maori Collections, 2010, Plate; 186, No.1994 The Abbey Museum was Britain’s first social history museum and was founded by John Ward (1885–1949). During the London Blitz of 1940 the Museum was forced to close and it never again reopened. The collections were sold to finance the migration of Ward and his Christian community to Cyprus where he died in 1949. These woven fibre and kiwi feather bags were an adaptation of the Maori cloak making tradition and appeared around the middle of the 19th century. The satchel shaped containers were made from strips of New Zealand native flax plant, Phormium Tenax, which after scraping and pounding yields a good quality fibre. The Kiwi, a flightless bird of great antiquity is peculiar to New Zealand. Their feathers lack the barbules needed to lock together the feathers for flight and are therefore soft and downlike and a favourite material for an important presentation gift or exchange. Later, in the early 20th century, bags were made entirely of patterned woven flax or cabbage tree leaf by the Maori to sell to the tourist trade.


[43] A Fine North Indian Rajasthani Steel Dhal or Convex Shield Extensively Decorated with Gold Damascene the Centre with a Damascened Cartouche Surrounded by Four Bosses Encircled by an Applied Writhing Snake an Inner Circle of Applied Gilded Steel Leaves Retaining its original blue silk cushion lining and handle An old paper label stuck to the silk inscribed in ink : Shield Made in Jaipur Worked in Gold Mohamed Azin......Price 60/12/- and Inventory Number 5788 in a different hand Early 19th Century s i z e : 35.5 cm dia. 14 ins dia. c f : Robert Hales, Islamic and Oriental Arms and Armour; 2013, pg 297, fig 714, for a similar shield Dhal are nearly always made of steel or leather and are round with some examples flat shaped while others are strongly convex. They are held by two handles fastened to ring bolts that pass through the shield and are riveted to bosses on the outside. Between the handles there is a cushion for the knuckles to rest against. The handles are placed so when tightly grasped they force the backs of the fingers against the cushion giving a very firm and comfortable hold. The bosses are always ornamental and are often inlaid or damascened with gold or silver. The art of damascening in precious metals on steel or iron is of great antiquity and was the decoration of choice on arms and armour in Islamic lands. Damascened arms proclaimed the status of their bearer and this function was regarded as important as the eYcacy of the weapons and armour in combat.


[44] A South Netherlands Carved Alabaster Skull of a Child a Vanitas Perhaps from a Tomb Monument Old Damages 17th Century

s i z e : 9 cm high, 8.5 cm wide, 11.5 cm deep – 3½ ins high, 3¼ ins wide, 4½ ins deep p rov e na nc e   : Ex Private European collection Nil Certius Morte Nil Incertus die Mortis Nothing is so certain as our death and nothing so uncertain as its date Death has always been thought of as a dark and secret power that cannot be controlled. The most widespread personification of death is the image of a human skull memento mori. A warning that life is transient. A reminder that man is not divine, but merely mortal. In the 17th century death was regarded as an integral part of life; in modern Western society it must, at all costs, be kept out of sight.


[45] A Northern French Carved Ivory Figure of Christ on the Cross Christo Vivo Mouth and Eyes Open in His Call to God Mid 17th Century

s i z e : 28.5 cm high, 18 cm wide – 11¼ ins high, 7 ins wide p rov e na nc e   : Ex Private Northern Irish collection The image of the Passion of Christ is central in Christian iconography and dates back to at least the 5th century ad, but it became increasingly common from the 13th century. St Francis of Assisi placed a special emphasis on the humanity of Christ. Praying and meditating on Christ’s suVering before a devotional image, Saint Francis asked of God that he might feel the pain and grief that Christ felt in His passion and he was rewarded with the stigmata, the wounds that Christ bore on His body at the crucifixion.


[46] A Large Pair of South Netherlandish Oak Architectural Corbels with Stylised Male Heads perhaps part of a Barbet Chimney Piece Probably Antwerp Early 17th Century

s i z e : 51.5 cm high, 21 cm wide, 44 cm deep – 20¼ ins high, 8 ins wide, 17¼ ins deep p rov e na nc e   : Salvaged during the demolition of a House in Antwerp 1950’s Ex Private European collection The word corbel comes from the Latin word curvus meaning raven. A corbel is a bracket built into, or projecting out from a wall supporting the weight of the structure above. It was thought that its shape resembles that of a crow’s beak, hence its name. Corbels are a particular feature of Jean Barbet’s (1591–1654) various designs for impressive mannerist chimney pieces. His influential book Livre d’Architecture D’Autels et de Cheminées was widely used as a source book for fireplace design for many decades. In the 17th century when the co-ordinating and dominant role of the architect had not yet been properly established, except in certain court circles, a well educated client would quite often direct the building of his own house, if only because he tended to know more about the newest forms of building than the master builder who was to erect the house. The master builder was an artisan working in an ancient tradition with only a limited knowledge of recent developments in his field. The client, however, had most often been a Grand Tourist and had access to books that he could read and understand. Later on the professional architect gradually became more firmly entrenched as a knowledgeable leader of a team of craftsmen who could produce proposals from which a client could choose.


[47] A Rare Chinese Carved Sumatran Rhinoceros Horn Wine Cup of Porcelain Shape Old Smooth Rich Honey Coloured Patina with Black Dappling Late Ming – Early Qing Dynasty / 17th Century s i z e : 5 cm high, 8.5 cm wide – 2 ins high, 3¼ ins wide Sumatran Rhinoceros horn has natural black markings within the core of the horn and these were considered by Chinese craftsmen as important decorative elements. The taste for honey coloured Rhinoceros horn carvings went out of fashion during the 18th century with mid brown becoming the favoured colour. The Chinese were accustomed for more than two thousand years to drink wine from small round bowls without handles and many still do so today. It is not known when Rhinoceros horn vessels were first brought into Europe, but in the early 16th century the first living one horned Rhinoceros was brought to Europe and presented as a gift to King Manuel of Portugal. In 1515 it created a sensation and people flocked to see its armour like body with a single horn rising from its snout. In Germany Albrecht Dürer having been sent sketches and a detailed description from Portugal created a fabulous drawing that was to become a famous woodcut. This strange and wonderful creature remained a popular image and subject for European artists for more than 200 years.


[48] A North Italian Venetian Bronze of Venus Pudica or The Capitoline Venus After Girolamo Campagna Traces of black lacquer on a light brown greenish patina Late 17th Century – Early 18th Century

s i z e : 27 cm high – 10½ ins high / 38 cm high – 15 ins high (overall) Renaissance bronzes were created as a conscious emulation of the antique. Many statuettes were copies of recently excavated antique models, but it was not long before collectors began to prize these new bronzes as much as they desired the antiquities from Greece or Rome, and placed them side by side in their cabinets. In Schloss Ambras near Innsbruck, in the Treasury of Archduke Ferdinand II (1529–95), both antique and contemporary artistic figures were closely placed for visual comparison. The Capitoline Venus in Rome was one of the most admired and frequently copied of all Roman antiquities. Discovered in a Roman garden in the 1670’s she also became known as the modest Venus or Venus pudica as the goddess attempts to hide her nakedness. The marble sculpture is a Roman copy of the 1st century ad and derives from the celebrated Greek original the Aphrodite of Cnidos created by the sculptor Praxiteles in around 360bc. Another Venus is in the collections of the British Museum, known as the Campo Lemini Venus it was excavated in 1794 at the Roman villa of the same name. In 1867 Mark Twain visited and saw the sculpture in Rome and he wrote : the Capitoline Venus is the most illustrious work of ancient art the world can boast of.


[49] A Rare Set of Four Pairs of Cockfighting Spurs Contained in a Silk Lined Shagreen Case Leather and Steel Stamped TS 18th Century

s i z e : 4.5 cm high, 9 cm wide, 12 cm deep – 1¾ ins high, 3½ ins wide, 4¾ ins deep s e e : Finch & Co catalogue no.8, item no.83, for a single pair The earliest known British book on the sport of cockfighting was published in 1607 The Commendation of Cocks and Cockfighting by George Wilson. He was the first to use the term Cock of the game after which fighting cockerels were known as gamecocks. Cockfighting was popular in Ancient Greece, Rome and Persia and probably originated in India, although on Magellan’s voyage around the Philippines in 1521 it was documented as a major sport in the Kingdom of Taytay by the chronicler Antonio Pigafetta. It is therefore possible that the game’s origins lie in South East Asia. In renaissance England it enjoyed royal patronage and a cockpit was built in Whitehall Palace by Henry VIII. The sport was banned in the 17th century by Cromwell, but revived under Charles II at the Restoration. As a blood sport it has been illegal since 1849 in Britain, but it is still the subject of frenzied gambling in Louisiana, Mexico, Latin America, the Middle East, South East Asia and the Philippines. The cockerels are given the best of care until the age of two years when they are conditioned like professional athletes prior to an event. Metal spurs are attached to the cock’s natural spurs, and the handlers place the two cocks beak to beak in a small circular pit. Wagers are made on the outcome of the joust and the birds released. A combatant wins when his opponent is unable or unwilling to fight or is killed.


[50] A Rare and Interesting Early English Carved Boxwood Cane or Ceremonial StaV Handle the Top Dated 1698 the Sides Decorated with a Scene of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden and with a Scene Depicting a Masonic Ceremony with Numerous Masonic Symbols the Initials TG Carved to the Collar Late 17th Century

s i z e : 11.5 cm high, 4.5 cm dia. (max) – 4½ ins high, 1¾ ins dia. (max) The interesting carved scene on this staV probably portrays the initiation of a candidate into a lodge of adoption. The masonic symbol of the ancient Egyptian crook or Heka above the initiates head was the sceptre used by the Egyptian pharaohs to signify government. The two figures stand between the pillars of Hercules above which are carved symbolic mathematical and architectural emblems. Much of masonic symbolism is mathematical in its nature and consequently attracted many 18th century rationalists and humanists, such as Mozart whose opera the Magic Flute makes extensive use of masonic symbolism, and Voltaire, Goethe, Benjamin Franklin, George Washington, Mark Twain and many others. No one particular metaphysical theory is advanced and in keeping with the geometrical and architectural theme of Freemasonry, the supreme being or creative principle (God) is referred to in masonic ritual as the Grand Geometer or the Great Architect of the Universe. The oldest jurisdiction in the English branch of Freemasonry is said to be the Grand Lodge of England which was founded in 1717. This staV is therefore an extremely early example of English masonic art.


[51] A Large Amazonian Tapirapé Semi Circular Ceremonial Enemy Warrior Dance Mask Upé Early 20th Century

s i z e : 92 cm high, 80 cm wide – 36 ins high, 31½ ins wide 119 cm high – 47 ins high (with stand) p rov e na nc e   : Collected by P. Morris in Brazil, 1935 Sold by his son, Piers in a gallery, Primrose Hill, London, 1968 Ex Private Spanish collection s e e : Finch & Co catalogue no.4, item no.122, collection of Amazonian Feather work Tapirapé enemy warrior or Upé masks are the largest and most distinctive masks produced in the lowlands of the Amazonian forests. They are constructed of blue, yellow and scarlet macaw feathers aYxed to a wooden panel with beeswax, with the fringe of feather plumes inserted into a splint border. The flashing rectangular eyes are freshwater mother-of-pearl inserts and the roundels on the cheeks are said to represent ear plugs moved inward on the face by artistic convention. This mask is a rare survival as in the Amazon they are very soon devoured by insects no matter how carefully they are stored. The feather headdress to the South Amerindian man is as important as a fine club. It is an ultimate power object with which they can show oV like decorated dandies putting on a display for plain, but highly selective and choosy, females. In a cleared area they dance displaying their brightly coloured plumes, replicating the mating grounds of tropical forest birds. In the early 16th century Brazil was known as the land of Parrots as in 1493 Christopher Columbus had brought back the first live parrots to Europe. People were astonished by the electric colours of their feathers which have had a strong influence on fashion design ever since. The South Amerindian kept parrots, toucans, macaws and harpy eagles as pets in their villages and feathers were plucked from them, or gathered when they moulted, for use in headdresses and decorative adornments and these would grow back renewed even more brightly coloured than before. Feathers and captive birds were traded across the entire area of the Amazon with the most brightly coloured regarded like gold dust in Europe; a highly valuable commodity.


[52] An Unusual Sailors-Work Atlantic Steamship Portrait Panel Carved of Ivory Horn and Tortoiseshell Perhaps American Late 19th Century

s i z e : 10.5 cm high, 15 cm wide, 1 cm deep – 4 ins high, 6 ins wide, ½ ins deep s e e : Finch & Co catalogue no.17, item no.142, for another example Ships are among mankind’s oldest and important means of transport and sailors, in the time when voyages lasted months and sometimes years, became skilled in many crafts during their long periods of enforced idleness. The works of art produced by these seafarers have not yet been accorded their true place among the great artistic traditions, despite being eagerly sought after by collectors. The tall smoke stack as depicted in this portrait was a mark of the old style 19th century steamer ship. The stack rose almost to mast height in order to dispel dangerous wood sparks and coal smoke. When this portrait is laid against a window pane the light shines through the blond horn panel producing a glowing three-dimensional eVect.


[53] An English Scrimshaw Narwhal Tusk Walking Cane the Handle Carved of Burr Mulberry Wood with Silver Mounts Late 18th – Early 19th Century

s i z e : 89 cm long – 35 ins long p rov e na nc e   : Ex English Private collection C.I.T.E.S Article 10 available Many of the objects made on board by the scrimshander were tools to be used for repairs to the ship, but these patient skills were frequently turned to other articles for his own use or to sell on his return to shore. One of the most popular items was the walking cane made from a variety of materials which came from all parts of the world. In their art the whale-men not only used the leftovers from their industry, but found objects picked up on the shores of the South Sea or African Islands, or Greenland and the Siberian Arctic. Trading existed amongst the scrimshanders for the pieces that better suited their intended purposes, and those of higher rank had the first choice of what was available, but mostly beautiful objects were inventively created with whatever material was on hand at the time.


[54] A Rare South African North Nguni Blond Rhinoceros Horn Prestige Knobkerrie Smooth honey coloured patina 19th Century

s i z e : 57 cm long – 22½ ins long / 6.5 cm dia. 2½ ins dia. (head) p rov e na nc e   : Ex English Private collection s e e : Finch & Co catalogue no.7, item no.99, and catalogue no.22, item no.20, for two other examples The white rhinoceros has a blond coloured horn which is much larger than that of the black rhinoceros. During the 19th century rhino horns of exceptional length were rare, but could still be seen. One blond horn was measured to be an amazing 1.58 metres long. Knobkerries fashioned from rhino horn were used to denote status and authority as can be seen in the 1833 engraving by E. Casalis of Zulu chief Mosheshwe formally holding one as a sceptre. They were an essential part of a chief ’s regalia functioning both as a staV of oYce and as a symbol of personal dignity.


[55] The Skull of a Romano British Man Discovered During the Excavations for Roadworks in the City of Bath An old label to reverse reading Roman Skull..... September 1904 3rd–4th Century ad

s i z e : 13 cm high, 16 cm wide, 18.5 cm deep – 5 ins high, 6¼ ins wide, 7¼ ins deep From British Druidism to the worship of the Roman Goddess Minerva, the personal religions of Roman Britain was immensely varied, in fact kaleidoscopic. Death and burial was a matter of personal religion and the range of burial customs displayed is wide. The two main rites were cremation and various forms of inhumation or burial of the body unburnt. The exposure of bodies above ground that occurred earlier in Iron Age Britain does not appear to have happened in the Roman period. Broadly, cremation which was the traditional Roman practice, was the dominant rite during the 1st and 2nd centuries and inhumation in the 3rd, 4th and 5th. This was partially due to the spread of Christianity and a literal belief in the resurrection of the body.


[56] Ancient Egyptian Limestone Relief Fragment Depicting a Ram with Two Sets of Spiraling Horns Emblem of Amun Probably a Trial Piece or Sculptor’s Model Perhaps from Thebes Ptolemaic Period 305 – 330bc

s i z e : 9.5 cm high, 11.5 cm wide, 1.5 cm deep – 3¾ ins high, 4½ wide, ½ ins deep 13.5 cm high – 5¼ ins high (with stand) p rov e na nc e   : Ex French Private collection acquired 1970 The horns depicted on the ram are those of a species that existed in ancient Egypt Ovis Longipes Paeoaegypticus, but which became extinct during the Middle Kingdom. The two pairs of horns, one upward curving corkscrew-shaped and the other downward spiraling, were retained as a symbol of divinity and appeared on relief plaques such as this of a number of Egyptian ram-gods, including Khnum the creator God that formed humankind from Nile clay, and of the great god Amun who was regarded by the Ptolemies as the Egyptian equivalent of Zeus.


[57] An Unusual Irish Mahogany Box Inlaid with Carved Lava Stone Cameos Italian Micro Mosaic Roundels PietraDura Butterfly Decorated Panels Numerous Agates Stones and Gems Containing a Collection of Agates and Intaglios in Three Layers The first tray with a collection of twelve glass intaglios one red jasper Egyptian scarab beetle thirty five cut and polished agates of various sizes and a fine cut rock crystal jewel contained in original red leather case with handwritten note: specemen (sic) of Crystal found in the neighbourhood of Mont Blanc. Given to me by George Lowther 1816 The second tray with a large slab of lapis lazuli and thirty five other various cut and polished agates The bottom third layer with two thick specimen slaps of straw porphyry with labels underneath: No. 431 Serpentine Verde Scilio Con Cristolli Orientale and No. 422 Serpentine Verde Con Cristalli Gialli Ed Agata and a large cut slab of green moss agate another of lapis lazuli and five other cut and polished agate specimens A label to the lid reading : Made by my Father Robert Foster Dunlop in the Winter of 1852 and 1853. D.R Quin Dorothea Roberta Quin was the daughter of Robert Foster Dunlop (formerly Delap) 1809–1875 of Monasterboice Co. Louth. She married the Reverend Richard Quin of Fork Hill Ireland in 1880 s i z e : 16 cm high, 36 cm wide, 25.5 cm deep – 6¼ ins high, 14¼ ins wide, 10 ins deep The fascination for collecting miniature stones, intaglios, gems and cameos reached back through the renaissance to classical antiquity itself. Pliny described the cabinets of such illustrious Romans as Pompey the Great, Julius Caesar and Marcellus, nephew of the Emperor Augustus. In the 17th and 18th centuries passionate connoisseurs of coins and gems such as the Earl of Arundel and Sir William Hamilton formed important and outstanding collections. In the 19th century this love for collecting almost became a national pursuit, and with the founding of the Victoria and Albert Museum it was no longer thought of as eccentric.


[58] A Very Fine and Rare Sailors Scrimshaw Walking Cane of Architectural Form Carved in Relief of Sperm Whale Tooth and Pan Bone the Squared Cage Work Sections with Fluted Pillars the Handle Formed as a Turks Head Knot the Shaft Inlaid with Tortoiseshell and Silver English or American Mid 19th Century

s i z e : 86.5 cm long – 34 ins long c f : New Bedford Whaling Museum U.S.A. has two similar canes 2001.100.470 and 2001.100.49 In 1843 Joseph Bogart Hersey, third mate and ship-keeper of the schooner Esquimaux of Provincetown wrote in his journal : …3rd July. We then began to saw up and divide the bone, scarcely any of which, but was held in such high estimation as to prevent it from being wasted. The jaw and the pans were dissected to such an advantage that nearly all had a piece which would answer to make a busk, or cane, and some fortunate enough to get both. In the 19th century a cane was a matter of fashion rather than a utilitarian aid to mobility and walking canes of many types were produced on whale-ships to please, and sometimes sell, to those people at home. However, this superb example intricately carved with fine cage worked fluted pillars, and profusely inlaid with tortoiseshell and silver, is a tour de force of the scrimshanders art. The whale ivory handle carved into the shape of a turks head knot is quintessentially nautical, displaying the sailor’s knowledge and love of rope-work.


[59] A Native American Plains Lakota Sioux Pipe Tomahawk with a Rawhide Thong Grip Wrapped in Porcupine Quillwork Stained Red White and Blue and with Attached Brass Beads Tin Cones and Red Feather Danglers the Iron Blade and Pipe of English Type Attached to a Straight Wooden Haft The Mouthpiece Chewed and Worn Smooth Mellow Silky Patina Circa 1830 – 1850

s i z e : 54 cm long – 21¼ ins long Blade : 19 cm high – 7½ ins high p rov e na nc e   : Ex collection Christian Magnier, Paris 1980 Ex Private European collection The early pipe tomahawk was a large heavy headed practical weapon made of iron, and was associated with close hand-to-hand combat. After 1870 they were no longer needed in warfare and they became much larger and more decorative, suited to their use in ceremonial parades as chiefly symbols of prestige. The pipe tomahawk is unique in Native American life. Most peoples across the world produced and used cutting axes and pipes for smoking, but it was only in North America that these two functions were fused into a single object. Over a period of 250 years the pipe tomahawk was used on diVerent occasions as a ceremonial and symbolic object, a functioning tool, a weapon of warfare and as a chief ’s sceptre. It has become the implement most associated with the Native Americans of the Plains.


[60] A Dutch China Trade Cantonese Silver and Ivory Pocket SnuV Box the Ivory Lid Carved with an Erotic Scene of Neptune and Amphitrite Seated in a Chinese Garden 18th Century

s i z e : 2 cm high, 7.5 cm wide, 6 cm deep – ¾ ins high, 3 ins wide, 2½ ins deep The lure of luxury goods from the workshops of China’s craftsmen was felt by other Asian peoples for centuries before the arrival of Europeans in the East Asia seas around 1514. This highly developed Chinese market was able to satisfy its foreign customers with distinctive shapes and decoration which met the requirements of societies very diVerent from that in which goods were produced. The source for the scene on the lid of this snuV box lies in a European classical engraving and is an example of the Western search for luxury products in Asia which was to have major consequences in the eventual creation of an integrated world economic system.


[61] A Chinese Ivory Cricket Cage for Transporting a Fighting Cricket with Attached Ivory Toggle of a Standing Boy Qing Dynasty / 18th Century

s i z e : 17 cm high (overall) 7.5 cm wide, 3.5 cm deep – 6¾ ins high (overall) 3 ins wide, 1¾ ins deep c f : A similar example in Chinese Ivories from the Shang to the Qing Oriental Ceramic Society, 1984; no.248 Cricket-keeping and cricket-fighting are interests unique to the Chinese and have long been popular pastimes. As well as cricket cages many objects relating to cricket husbandry were produced during the Qing dynasty including small containers for fighting and for food, and ticklers to stimulate the cricket contestants! Crickets were frequently the subject of serious conversations during gatherings for tea or literary discussions. It was customary for the Chinese scholar to write poems and essays relating to the sounds of crickets in the chilly autumn weather emblematic of solitude and sadness. In his 17th century Treatise on Crickets Fang Hu writes that in addition to the joy of the sounds of these insects, cricket-fighting brought great honour and large sums of money to the owner of a champion cricket.


[62] French Erotic Pressed Burr Maple SnuV Box the Lid with a Rural Country Scene Entitled Fete Flamande the Tortoiseshell Lined Interior Concealing a Secret Compartment Containing a Miniature Painting on Ivory of an Explicit Amorous Scene Early 19th Century

s i z e : 2 cm high, 8 cm dia. – ¾ ins high, 3¼ ins dia. s e e : Finch & Co catalogue no.12, item no.17, for another French Erotic Box At Chapaulieu de Clermont in the Auvergne there is a curiously large phallic shaped rock known as Saint-Foutin. Local Catholic Christians believe it to be a statue of St Foutin and that he was the first Bishop of Lyons. The journal of King Henry III refers to a cult of St Foutin across most of France and worship of the saint included the use of male and female sex emblems made of wax. Foutin means copulation and the practises of the early church were clearly influenced by Celtic and Gaulish converts who were accustomed to the phallic symbolism prevalent under the Roman Empire.


[63] A Fine Pair of Large South Netherlandish Carved Oak Architectural Corbels Depicting Stylised Male Heads with Mop-Like Curly Hair Probably Antwerp 1st Half 16th Century

s i z e : 49 cm high, 28 cm wide, 30 cm deep – 19¼ ins high, 11 ins wide, 11¾ ins deep p rov e na nc e   : Salvaged During the Demolition of a House in Antwerp 1950’s Ex Private European collection The Golden Age of the woodcarver took place in the Middle Ages when there was a huge demand for secular and religious statuary and architectural woodwork. The lavish decoration of roofs, panelling, pews and screens absorbed the time and energy of whole generations of craftsmen. Building on these solid workshop traditions Brussels, together with Tournai, became the principal South Netherlands centres for sculpture in the early 16th century. Antwerp gradually took over this pre-eminent role because of its dominant trading position. However, sculpture flourished elsewhere in the Netherlands and was successfully produced across the region to satisfy the burgeoning market for altarpieces, figures of saints, Madonnas and architectural woodwork. These corbels are perhaps from the Great Chamber of a large house where they were used to support roof beams.


[64] An Italian Marble Bust of St Anne Mother of the Blessed Virgin Mary The head once framed by a metal crown. On veined marble soccle. Perhaps Rome Late 17th Century s i z e : 38 cm high – 15 ins high Although no historical details are known of St Anne’s life, a church was built in her honour at Constantinople by the Emperor Justinian and relics were taken from it to Jerusalem and Rome, where there are pictures of her at St Maria Antigua (8th century). In the 10th century her feast called the conception of St Anne was kept at Naples and soon afterwards in England and Ireland. The most famous shrine in her honour in England was at Buxton. Her cult was bitterly attacked by Luther, especially the images representing her with Jesus and Mary favoured by Renaissance painters. Her feast day of the 26th July was, and is still, very popular in Brittany and Canada.


[65] An Indian Mughal Rhinoceros Horn Ritual Libation Cup Finely Carved with Acanthus Leaf Motifs on a Raised Diamond Shaped Base 17th Century

s i z e : 2.5 cm high, 10 cm long, 5 cm wide – 1 ins high, 4 ins long, 2 ins wide c f : A Mughal 18th Century Jade covered jar decorated with Acanthus leaves, in the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts; 68.8.129 a/b In 1525–6 the Emperor Barbur, founder of the Mughal dynasty of North India, wrote in his diary that he had acquired a boat shaped drinking cup made from the horn of a rhinoceros. This was reputedly purchased over 200 years later by Sir Hans Sloane (1660–1753) whose vast collection went on to form the basis of the British Museum. Rhinoceros horn was prized in the Middle and Far East for its believed properties as an antidote to both poison and melancholy, as well as for its rarity and beauty. The acanthus leaf as a decorative motif was introduced into Indian art from the GrecoRoman West and during the Mughal period it once again became popular as imported examples of Italian Renaissance art displaying scrolling acanthus leaves were highly prized and admired at the Mughal court.


[66] A Sailors Scrimshaw Whalebone Walking Cane the Handle Carved from a Sperm Whale Tooth American or English Mid 19th Century

s i z e : 88 cm long – 34½ ins long Some of the shafts of whalebone walking canes are carved or engraved in spirals or diamond shapes. As described by Frank T Bullen in his The Cruise of the Cachalot 1899 : … our carpenter was a famous workman at ‘scrimshaw’ and he started half a dozen walking sticks forthwith. A favourite design is to carve the bone into the similitude of rope, with ‘worming’ of smaller line along its lays. A handle is carved out of the whale’s tooth and insets of baleen, silver, cocoa tree or ebony, give variety and finish.


[67] A Victorian Taxidermy Specimen of an African Nile Crocodile Crocodylus Niloticus 19th Century

s i z e : 102 cm long – 40¼ ins long s e e : Finch & Co catalogue no.17, item no.15, for an example of an American Black Alligator The ancient Egyptians worshipped the crocodile as the god Sobek who was often portrayed as a man with a crocodile’s head. Its cult centre at Medinet El-Fayum was known as Crocodilopolis, but numerous other shrines and temples were dedicated in his honour throughout the Nile Valley. The temples of Sobek were usually provided with a pool containing sacred live crocodiles looked after by priests dedicated to their welfare. During the 12th and 13th Dynasties (1985–1750bc) the cult of Sobek was particularly prominent as shown in the birth name of all eight rulers of the 13th Dynasty : Sobekhotep, and in the birth name of the last ruler of the 12th Dynasty : Sobekneferu who was the first attested female Pharaoh. The name Sobekneferu means beautiful crocodile.


[68] Unusual Western Polynesian Fijian Rootstock Club Vunikau with Coir Sinnet to the Grip perhaps used ceremonially as a symbol of authority Old smooth dry patina 19th Century

s i z e : 110 cm long – 43¼ ins long The amazing diversity and decoration of clubs produced in 19th century Fiji reflects their importance and cultural significance. Their use extended beyond warfare, their most important function, into political ceremony, male dance rituals, adornment and commodity exchanges. Although highly regarded as weapons for killing, clubs were also powerful symbols of authority and masculinity, and the sanction of ancestral gods. War occupied the entire male population, with boys being trained in the wielding and parrying of clubs from infancy, only being bestowed with a man’s name once they had slain an enemy. Clubs were the Fijian warrior’s favourite weapon, and as their life in much of the 19th century was lived in a virtually constant state of warfare, a club was their closest companion.


[69] A Rare Pacific Cook Islands Shark Fishing Hook Matau Traces of shark tooth marks to the Wood Old glossy patina Early 19th Century

s i z e : 18 cm long, 7.5 cm wide – 7 ins long, 3 ins wide s e e : Finch & Co catalogue no.23, item no.13, for a collection of 16 fish hooks c f : H G Beasley Fish Hooks Part 1, Cook Group Plates; L11 and L111 for two similar hooks The Cook Islands are believed to be the place of departure around one thousand years ago for the voyagers to New Zealand. A priest of the Society Islands named Tupaia joined Captain Cook’s first voyage as a navigator. He had extensive knowledge of the geography of the Central Pacific, proving that periodic contact was maintained between all the diVerent groups in the region. Rarotonga is the largest island and was first visited in 1789 by the mutineers of the Bounty who were looking for valuable sandalwood. The Island of Aitutaki in 1821 became the first base for the ministers of the London Missionary Society who had been sent from the Society Islands. When their missionary John Williams visited in 1823 he collected up thirty-one newly surrendered idols, most of which are now in the British Museum.


[70] French Solid Cast Bronze Figure of the Greek God Pan Blowing a Conch Shell Whilst Holding Another his Ears Sharply Pointed Two Projecting Horns Sprouting from his Forehead Wearing a Lion Skin Standing on a Rockwork Flower Strewn Base Traces of brown lacquer over a gilt bronze patina 18th Century s i z e : 27 cm high – 10½ ins high Greek legend makes Pan the son of Hermes and a favourite of Dionysus, the fertility god. Born in Arcadia, the pastoral state in the centre of the Peloponnese, he haunted caves and lonely rural places. He was playful and energetic, but irritable especially if disturbed during his afternoon sleep. He could inspire fear, a sudden groundless fright, in both men and animals. By blowing on a conch shell he created panic when Zeus led the gods against Kronos and the Titans. He enjoyed chasing nymphs, especially Echo. In France in the 17th and 18th centuries intimate small scale bronze statuettes, usually of mythological or allegorical subjects, were made for collectors to admire and study in their cabinet.


[71] A New Zealand Maori Orator’s StaV Top TokoToko the Seated Figure Carved with a Large Head and Ta Moko Tattoo his Hands Clasped by his Thighs Rauponga Tattoo Spirals on his Buttocks his Penis Displayed An old colonial silver mount to the shaft. Smooth silky rich brown patina Early 19th Century

s i z e : 24.5 cm long – 9½ ins long p rov e na nc e   : Ex Collection Waterhouse Family Waterhouse was a Methodist Minister who supervised the Wesleyan Missions in Australia and Polynesia in the 1830’s. His son George Waterhouse (1824–1906) was Premier of South Australia and then of New Zealand. His Great-Nephew was Sir Ellis Waterhouse, the Art Historian c f : Hooper Collection, Steven Phelps; plate 28, no134 This male image of vigorous form came from a staV which was an oratorial accessory and an insignia of chiefly oYce. The custom of wearing deep facial tattoo Moko had a strong influence on the surface designs of Maori woodcarving. The head was carved as very large in proportion to the body stressing its symbolic importance, and that it was more tapu. The powerful expression of the tattooed face evokes the preserved heads of ancestral chiefs. In 1805, John Savage, a surgeon, was in the Bay of Islands. He records tattoo as a class maker: This society is divided into classes, each distinguished by devices variously tattooed on their faces and persons. (Savage 1807 :20) The Maori method of tattooing was painful and of great significance. It was usually carried out in a temporary shelter erected in an area declared tapu. A variety of chisels were used, often made with elaborately carved bone handles, and having a cutting edge up to a centimetre or more in width. The design was traced and the chisel dipped into a mixture of soot and plant juice. The prepared chisel was then placed in position and the cutting edge driven through the skin with a sharp blow on the back of the instrument. Tattoo designs varied from region to region and represented more than just personal adornment showing both the lineage, status and military honours of the wearer.


[72] A Sailors Scrimshaw Narwhal Tusk Walking Cane with a Defined Deep Twist Smooth Silky Cream Coloured Patina Early 19th Century

s i z e : 90 cm long – 35½ ins long p rov e na nc e   : Ex Private collection formed in Ceylon during the 1930’s Thence by Descent Ex English Private collection C.I.T.E.S Article 10 Certificate available Marine walking canes were variously constructed by sailors onboard 19th century whaling ships from whalebone, sperm whale teeth and the spiral tusks of the Arctic narwhal. When the ship headed homeward after a three or four year voyage the whaleman’s patience was most sorely tried. The progress was slow, even if all the sails were set, and the passage took several months as the ship had to run up the Atlantic with the north-east trade winds, and was often becalmed for long periods of time. To obviate this uneasiness and prolonged boredom all hands were encouraged to construct articles of their own fancy from the available materials on board. This intense occupation continued not just for hours, but for days and in some instances, whole weeks.


[73] An Italian After The Antique Bronze of Arrotino or the Blade Sharpener on Sienna Marble and Bronze Plinth Early 19th Century

s i z e : 17 cm high, 17.5 cm wide, 10 cm deep – 6¾ ins high, 7 ins wide, 4 ins deep Known also as the Scythian or Il Rotatore this figure is thought to be from a group representing Apollo Flaying Marsyas. It was excavated in the early 16th century and is a Roman 3rd century bc marble of an earlier Hellenistic model. The sculpture appears in an inventory of 1520 of the Villa Farnesina after the death of Agostino Chigi. It was later sold by a member of the family to Cardinal Ferdinando de Medici and removed to the Villa Medici where it remained on display until it was taken in the 18th century to the Medici Collection in Florence. It is today in the Tribuna of the UYzi in Florence. Whilst in the Medici collection the executioner or Villano was reinterpreted as a Scythian, and sometimes he became The Listening Slave a royal barber or butler overhearing treasonous plotting against the state. In the late 17th century it was recognised as having been part of a larger Hellenistic group by scholars identifying the theme in antique engraved gem stones. For a long time the sculpture was thought to be one of the finest surviving Greek marbles, and as such many copies in plaster were made for instruction. A life sized cast was made for the R.A. that can be seen in the Courtauld Gallery. It became a popular grand tour subject in the 18th and 19th century and bronze reductions were made to illustrate the ancient Greek ideal.


[74] A Pacific Marquesas Islands Carved Ironwood Fan Handle Ke’e Decorated with Two Registers of Pairs of Addorsed Standing Tiki Figures Pierced at the Neck and Legs Old dry smooth untouched patina Old losses to the feet of two Tiki 19th Century

s i z e : 16 cm long – 6¼ ins long Captain Cook was the first explorer to describe Marquesas fans in 1774, collecting four on the Island of Tahuta where reputedly the finest fans were made. Ornamental fans were ceremonial accessories carried as insignia of rank by both men and women. They would be proudly displayed on important occasions, especially at feasts where their visual impact would be enhanced by the elegant manner with which they were held, particularly by women.


[75] A Fine French Gold Mounted Maplewood Patch Box with a Miniature on Ivory Depicting a Lady’s Hand Writing a Love Letter Je T’aime on a Table with Cupid Hiding Beneath The interior with two gold hinged compartments and mirror to the lid Contained in original gilt tooled red leather case Early 19th Century

s i z e : 2 cm high, 5.5 cm wide, 4.5 cm deep – ¾ ins high, 2¼ ins wide, 1¾ ins deep 2.5 cm high, 7 cm wide, 5.5 cm deep – 1 ins high, 2¾ ins wide, 2¼ ins deep (leather case) This finely painted small cosmetic patch box illustrates how fashion can convert facial flaws into a fashion statement. In the 17th and 18th centuries smallpox was an ever present threat and those who did survive the disease were left with facial scars. Beauty patches were cut from silk or velvet and coated in a gum to hold them in place. Kept in small boxes which could be carried in a pocket or bag, they came in a variety of decorative shapes such as crescents, stars or hearts. By the end of the 18th century beauty patches had become a cosmetic staple and were worn more for aesthetic accent of the facial features than as a camouflage for blemishes. Patches then began to have their own language of symbolism; worn on the face, neck or breast, a patch above the lip meant coquetry, on a forehead, grandeur and at the corner of an eye, passion. It was even known for women to strategically place a patch on the right side of their forehead to denote support for the Whigs, whilst Tory supporters placed one on the left side.


[76] Sailors Scrimshaw Walking Cane the Heavy Whalebone Shaft Inlaid with Diamonds and Roundels of Tortoiseshell and Baleen the Sperm Whale Tooth Handle Carved as a TurksHead Knot Mid 19th Century

s i z e : 90.5 cm long – 35½ ins long In his 1851 epic Moby Dick or the Whale Herman Melville described how the whalers would obtain the materials they used for scrimshaw work : In most cases the lower jaw – being easily unhinged by a practised artist – is disengaged and hoisted on deck for the purpose of extracting the ivory teeth, and furnishing the supply of that hard white whalebone with which the fisherman fashion all sorts of curious articles including canes, umbrella stocks, and handles to riding whips.


[77] A Democratic Republic of Congo Kuba Ceremonial Palm Wine Vessel with Interlaced Abstract Designs the Handle Finely Carved with an Elongated Female Figure Old dry smooth dark brown patina Late 19th – Early 20th Century

s i z e : 16 cm high, 13.5 cm dia. (max) 6¼ ins high, 5¼ dia. (max) p rov e na nc e   : Ex Belgian Colonial Missionary Family Ex Private European collection Palm wine Maan is made from the sap of a raYa palm tree. After six years of growth the mature tree is ready to be tapped. Palm wine specialists collect the sweet alcoholic liquid twice a day, early morning and late evening. It is then carried back in large gourd containers to be consumed. It can be drunk immediately or allowed to ferment, growing more intoxicating over the course of a day. The first early morning liquid is considered the sweetest, and Emile Torday recorded that the Bushoong had a proverb declaring that a man is like palm wine : sweet youth lacks wisdom, wise old age lacks sweetness of character. (1925 :143)


[78] An Ancient British Celtic Red Sandstone Bust of a Man the Primitive Abstract Head with Large Ears an Open Mouth and Triangular Nose 1st Century bc–1st Century ad

s i z e : 70 cm high, 25 cm wide, 27 cm deep – 27½ ins high, 9¾ ins wide, 10½ ins deep p rov e na nc e   : Found on a Farm near Nuneaton 1930’s Thence by Descent Ex English collection s e e : Finch & Co catalogue no.8, item no.92, for an ancient Celtic limestone standing figure The human head as the centre of spiritual power had an overwhelming significance for all Celtic peoples. It is conspicuous in their rituals, their warfare, mythology and legends and appears in their art from the earliest known representations in Central Europe to the illuminated manuscripts of the Christian Irish. The Celts were headhunters and there was more to their collection of these trophies than the desire to boast of their prowess as warriors. The use of real or sculpted heads as decoration, sometimes in triads or combinations of sacred numbers, reflects the votive and protective power which the Celts believed to reside in them. Many of these figures and heads which were readily visible were systematically destroyed in the Middle Ages. Some escaped by being used as rubble for walls or the foundations of buildings.


[79] A Fine Flemish Bronze Bust of Christ as a Child Attributed to François Du Quesnoy (1597–1643) on a Later Agate and Black Marble Base Fine old black lacquer and dark brown patina Early 17th Century

s i z e : 15 cm high, 11 cm wide, 7.5 cm deep – 6 ins high, 4¼ ins wide, 3 ins deep 23.5 cm high – 9¼ ins high (including base) s e e : Finch & Co catalogue no.11, item no.93, for another bust c f : Vienna Kunsthistorisches Museum Inv; No : KK5776 Du Quesnoy was a Flemish sculptor baptised in Brussels on 12th January 1597. He settled in Rome in 1618 and worked with Algardi with whom he became the most outstanding sculptor in the City apart from the great Bernini. In 1627 he worked for Bernini on the decoration of the baldacchino in St Peter’s, but his style, like that of Algardi’s, was much more restrained and less baroque than the master’s. He became a leading figure in circles devoted to classical art and for a time earned his living by restoring antique sculpture. He shared a house with his friend Poussin, the French painter who had also settled in Rome. Although famous for his reliefs and statuettes of religious and mythological subjects in bronze, ivory, terracotta and wax, he only ever produced two major public works; the marble statues of St Susanna (St Maria di Lore 1629–33) and St Andrew (St Peters 1629–40). He was particularly renowned for his handling of putti, and it is curious that an artist who so unaVectedly depicted the beauty and charm of children was so badly aZicted by depression. The diarist John Evelyn visiting Rome in 1644 said that he died mad because his St Andrew was placed in a bad light. François Du Quesnoy had died the previous year on his way to Paris to work for Louis XIII.


[80] A Melanesian New Caledonian Penis Shaped Hardwood War Club the Handle with Distinctive Expanded Flange at the Butt Bound with a Grip of Knotted Cord Natural old high polished patina characteristic of New Caledonian clubs Early 19th Century

s i z e : 68 cm long – 26¾ ins long s e e : Finch & Co catalogue no.5, item no.70, for another example c f : A very similar club is illustrated in an engraving Artifacts from New Caledonia after Chapman, London, 1777 New Caledonia is part of the archipelago that forms the southern outpost of Melanesia. It is mountainous and almost completely encircled by barrier reefs. The natural flora is outstandingly rich in unique species with the flying fox or fruit bat being the sole resident mammal before the arrival of man. According to Captain Cook’s expedition members the men of New Caledonia always carried their weapons with them, although they demonstrated a marked friendliness, honesty and peaceableness which could not be emphasised enough (Cook 1777, II 108, 118). This was in marked contrast to their experiences on some of the Islands of the New Hebrides. Cook then went on notwithstanding their pacific inclination they must sometimes have wars, as they are well provided with offensive weapons.


[81] A French Dieppe Carved Ivory Relief Depicting the Visionary St Augustine in a Classical Landscape OVering his Emblem the Sacred Heart of Fire to the Madonna and Child 19th Century

s i z e : Ivory : 15 cm high, 8.5 cm wide – 6 ins high, 3¼ ins wide The cult of St Augustine was early and widespread. His intellectual brilliance, wide education, ardent temperament and mystical insight formed a personality of extraordinary quality. His understanding of Christian Revelation was shown in his voluminous writings which have probably proved more influential in the history of thought than any Christian writer since St Paul. Although its origins can be traced back to the mystics of the Middle Ages and their meditation on Christ’s wounds at His crucifixion, the devotion of the sacred heart has only oYcially been defined since the 18th century. The physical heart of Jesus is a subject of Catholic devotion and a feast day is observed on the Friday of the week after Corpus Christi.


[82] An Italian Cast Silver Roundel Depicting St George as a Knight on Horseback Braving the Dragon’s Flames Watched from a Tower by the King in an Oak Frame with Embossed Leather Surround Dated 1711 to reverse Late 17th Century

s i z e : 6 cm dia. – 2¼ ins dia. / 9.5 cm sq – 3¾ ins sq (frame) The story of George and the Dragon is not of primitive origin, but it became immensely popular in the West through the Golden Legend translated and printed by Caxton. The dragon, a local pest which terrorised the whole country, poisoned with its fiery breath all who approached it. Every day it was appeased with an oVering of two sheep, but when these grew scarce, a human victim chosen by lot was to be substituted instead. The lot had fallen on the King’s daughter who went to her fate dressed as a bride. George attacked the dragon, pierced it with his lance, and led it captive with the princess’s girdle as if it were completely tame! George told the people not to be afraid; if they would believe in Jesus Christ and be baptised he would rid them of the monster. The King and people agreed. George killed the dragon and 15,000 people were baptised. George would take no reward, but asked the King to maintain churches, honour priests and show compassion to the poor. The legend ends with the death of George as a martyr in the persecutions of the Roman emperors Diocletian and Maximian. His cult took on a new dimension during the Crusades with Richard I placing himself under George’s protection. At Agincourt Henry V’s famous speech invoked St George as England’s patron. In Italy he was regarded as a patron saint who personified the ideals of Christian Chivalry.


[83] A Rare Medieval English Oak Secular Figure of a Knight Traces of red and black polychrome Mid 15th Century

s i z e : 61.5 cm high – 24¼ ins high p rov e na nc e   : Sold Sothebys, New York, 2011 Ex English Private collection c f : Edge and Paddock Arms and Armour of the Medieval Knight London, 1988 pg 57 Victoria and Albert Museum Medieval English Oak Figure of a Knight, one of the Three Naworth Figures, circa 1450 (A11–2001) Holding a parade shield meant for display at tournaments at his feet this oak figure may have once held a flag which displayed a heraldic device. It has been suggested by the Victoria and Albert Museum that these figures were once part of the large screen found in medieval great halls. Viewed from below they would have displayed the family’s heraldry, ancestry and importance. Medieval arms and armour were expensive and their use in figurative carving such as this denoted chivalrous rank and status. In the 15th century the entitlement to knighthood was by wealth and an income of £40 would entitle a man to become a knight.


[84] A West African Burkina Faso Bobo Peoples Ceremonial Initiation Stool of Anthropomorphic Form Untouched dry smooth patina Early 20th Century

s i z e : 22.5 cm high, 38.5 cm deep, 18 cm wide – 8¾ ins high, 15¼ ins deep, 7 ins wide p rov e na nc e   : Ex Collection of the Artist Josef Herman Ex Private European collection The Bobo people live in Western Burkina Faso and Southern Mali, from the banks of the river Niger in the north to the Banfora cliVs in the south. Most men are farmers growing millet and cotton that is sold to textile mills in Burkina. The largest, most populous city is Bobo Dioulasso which was an important crossroads for centuries before the French arrived in the 19th century and imposed colonial rule on the entire region of what then became known as French West Africa. Like all peoples in Burkina Faso, with the exception of the Mossi, they are totally unaccepting of any system of centralised political authority. They have no chiefs or kings. Instead, decisions are made on behalf of the community by councils of lineage elders. The concept of the authority of chiefs is alien to them as it does not reflect the order of things formed by Wuro at the creation. Initiations, Yele Danga, are conducted by senior men wearing masks, of young men and boys into the worship of Dwo. Their god Wuro had three sons, one of whom is Dwo, the principal manifestation of the power of the god in the Bobo world. These stools were used during the ceremonies for ritual circumcisions. Carved from a single block of wood they have a cubic form and are decorated with lines of scarification and an anthropomorphic young male head.


[85] Democratic Republic of Congo Kuba Cephalomorphic Ceremonial Palm Wine Cup Old dry smooth silky patina Early 20th Century

s i z e : 18 cm high, 11 cm dia. (max) – 7 ins high, 4¼ ins dia. (max) p rov e na nc e   : Ex European Private collection The Kuba once produced a variety of distinctive vessels for drinking palm wine. This vessel is carved in a typical cephalomorphic stylised form with a large female head supported on abbreviated legs that terminate in abstract feet. The stylistic features of the face; the hairline ridge, crescent shaped eyebrows, scarification roundels by the ears and triangular mouth are all similar to those found on Kuba masks. Palm wine is a naturally alcoholic beverage that exudes from the core of the raYa palm tree when it is tapped. The liquid is collected in the early morning and late afternoon. Today, palm wine vendors oVer this beverage in a plastic cup, but in the 19th and early 20th century Kuba men would purchase a decorated wooden palm wine container for their personal use.


[86] A Fine Sailors Scrimshaw Narwhal Tusk Walking Cane with a Double Curved Opera Handle Carved of Ebony Early 19th Century

s i z e : 92 cm long – 36¼ ins long p rov e na nc e   : Ex Private London collection C.I.T.E.S Article 10 available Narwhal walking canes were the most dignified form of cane made by the whalemen. Although diYcult to work and comparatively fragile, as they lacked the tensile strength of panbone, narwhal tusks made very attractive shafts. In 1844 Joseph Dias, on board the Clifford Wayne reflected : ...All this day moderate. Steering SW and NW at sunset. Luffed too. Nothing to do but make canes to support our dignity when we get home.


[87] Rare Northwest Coast Nootka Nuu-Chah-Nulth Chiefs Whale Bone Sword Club the Handle Carved with a Stylised Profile of an Open Beaked Thunderbird the Blade Decorated on each Side with a Frontal View of an Abstract Figure with Oval Face a Stone Drilled Hole to One Side for a Wrist Thong Old worn smooth untouched patina of a rich colour An old small chip to the end of the blade 18th Century

s i z e : 51.5 cm long, 7 cm wide, 1.5 cm deep – 20 ins long, 2¾ ins wide, ¾ ins deep c f : A similar club with a carved Thunderbird handle is in the University of Cambridge Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology collected in 1778 by Captain Cook on his third voyage (No 1922.954) and another one is in the British Museum collected by Cook (NWC40) with an undecorated blade These clubs were more than just a weapon, they were important symbols of status and the prestige of chiefs who gave the clubs ceremonial names. They were linked to the whaling traditions of high ranking families as whaling was a privilege accorded to hereditary chiefs. The shape and design of these clubs seems to have been traditionally limited to minor variations of an ancient form that goes back to 2000bc. The imagery of the thunderbird symbolises the power of the mythical world of the Nootka. Captain Cook collected over 230 documented objects on his third voyage and over half of these originate from the Nootka. Members of the voyage commented on the whalebone sword clubs they collected and compared them to the Maori patapatoos. The Resolution was anchored oV the West Coast of Vancouver Island from March to the end of April 1778 to undertake urgent repairs, and so they were able to visit and study the settlements in the rainforest territory around Nootka Sound over a few weeks, and many objects were traded with the people who are today known as Nuu-Chah-Nulth.


[88] A Rare Russian Steel and Gilded Bronze Ormolu Bust of Louis XVI of France on a Cast Chased and Gilded Bronze Mounted Red Porphyry Base Decorated with the Fleur de Lys for France beneath the Royal Crown Probably a collaboration between the Imperial Peterhof Lapidary Works and the Tula Steel Manufactory Circa 1775–1790

s i z e : 25.5 cm high – 10 ins high (overall) / Base : 11.5 cm square – 4½ ins square p rov e na nc e   : Astrop House, Kings Sutton, Northamptonshire c f : A Tula Imperial workshop chess set of the 1780’s in the Hermitage collection, St Petersburg with prancing horses for Knights as an example of figural steel work A Mennecy Porcelain bust of Louis XV circa 1755 of the same style and modelling in The J. Paul Getty Musuem, USA (84. DE. 46) Catherine the Great (1729–1796) of Russia was one of 18th century Europe’s most passionate collectors and under her rule Russia played an important part in European aVairs. Her collection included hundreds of unique works by foreign craftsmen and the Russian masters of craft in the Imperial Lapidary works, both at Peterhof and Ekaterinburg, the Imperial Porcelain Factory and the Tula steel manufactory all wished to successfully compete with the masterpieces of European art displayed in the Palaces. The Empress visited the Tula workshops twice, first in 1775 and again in 1787, and she personally encouraged her personal circle to purchase works either directly or from their annual May fair held in Sofia near her favourite country residence Tsarsköe Selo. In 1785 she sent two experienced steelworkers from the Tula armoury factory, reputed to be the best, Alexey Surnin and Andrey Leontyev, to England in order to study diVerent products and broaden their creative outlook. Leontyev was so highly regarded that he received an oVer of 200 guineas a year to remain and work in England, but he refused in order to return to his native Tula. Since 1712 when Peter I oYcially founded the Tula armoury the masters had enjoyed the patronage of the Royal court producing both large government commissions and individual items as diplomatic gifts. The French Chargé d’aVaires Chevalier de Corberon wrote in his diary for 7th November 1775 : We went to dine at Count Potemkin’s. He showed us fine steel objects from Tula which are of rare beauty for the quality of steel, gilding and fine decoration. (Memoires of the Chevalier de Corberon 1901 vol : I p.106) Another Frenchman the Comte de Ségur, ambassador to Russia from 1785 observed in his memoirs : this town Tula has been known for some time for its manufacture of arms. It supplies the whole of the Russian army. They also make works of art in steel, and this branch of the industry, which is promoted by Catherine, has reached such a degree of perfection that they could almost rival the English manufactures. Her Majesty gave each one of us a present of a few pieces of the Tula manufacture, which were most finely worked. Many discoveries of hard stones were made in late 18th century Russia and in 1786 in the Altai mountains in fissures beside the River Korgan, the geologists Piotr Ivanovitch Shangin (1743–1808) discovered porphyry in an extraordinary range of colours, violet grey, red, pale blue, black and dark green. The discovery of these deposits and others were financed and organised by the Imperial administration and undertaken by scientific expeditions. These costly ventures were considered a matter of Russian prestige as the discoveries generated international interest and admiration throughout the Royal courts of friendly countries.


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Gamester, David, Nurse, Bernard & Steele, Julia; Making History Antiquaries in Britain 1707– 2007, Die Keure, Belgium, 2007 Ginzberg; African Forms, Skira, Italy, 2000 Goodison, Nicholas; Mathew Boulton : Ormolu, Phaidon Press Ltd. & Christies Books Ltd., London, 2002 Hail, Barbara A; Hau, Kóla!, HaVenreVer Musuem of Anthropology, 1980 Hales, Robert, Islamic and Oriental Arms and Armour, Published by Robert Hales C.I. Ltd., 2013 Haskell, Francis & Penny, Nicholas; Taste and the Antique, Yale University Press, 1998 Hauser-Schäublin, Brigitta & Krüger, Gundolf; James Cook Gifts and Treasures from the South Seas, Prestel, Munich, 1998 Herle, Anita & Carreau, Lucie; Chiefs and Governors Art and Power in Fiji, Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, Cambridge, 2013 Hooper, Steven; Pacific Encounters, British Museum Press, 2006 James Cook and the Exploration of the Pacific, Thames and Hudson, London, 2009 Jenkins, Ian & Sloan, Kim; Vases and Volcanoes, British Musuem Press, 1996 Kaeppler, Adrienne, L; Artificial Curiosities, Bishop Museum Press, Honolulu, 1978 Kecskési von, Maria; Kunst Aus Afrika, Prestel, 1999 Kjellberg, Pierre; Objets Montés, Les editions de l’Amateur, 2000 Koloss, Hans-Joachim; Africa Art and Culture, Prestel, Munich, Germany, Laue, Georg; Memento Mori, Munich 2002 Laue, Georg; Scientifica, Munich, 2004 Laue, Georg; Exotica, Munich, 2012 Mack, John; Emil Torday and the Art of the Congo 1900–1909, British Museum Publications McEwan, Colin, Barreto, Cristiana & Neves, Eduardo; Unknown Amazon, The British Museum Press, 2001

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