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"Il n'y a en art, ni passé, ni futur. L'art qui n'est pas dans le présent ne sera jamais." (Pablo Picasso)
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    Lot 194. Large vermeil cup and lid with decorations in relief, Juryen van Ham, Emden, 1603. Approximately 594g. Height 38cm. Estimate 25,000 - 30,000 EUR. Lot sold 48,000 EUR. © Van Ham

    Silver, applies. Repeatedly receeding circular foot with bulbous raised center, thereon a shaft in the shape of a vase with three small applied scroll motifs decorated with mascarons. The high cuppa cylindrically waisted in the middle. On the bulbous upper and lower parts ornamental bands with strapwork panels, in them alternating cherub heads and bowls of fruit and flowers. The waisted middle is decorated with an arrangement of fruit. Flat-domed slip lid with a broad rim and matching décor. Large figure of a supporter in armor as final on the base-shaped center. 

    Marked thrice: assayer's mark Emden with C for 1603 (Scheffler, Lower Saxony no.592), maker's mark Juryen van Ham (master 1597-1616, ibid. No.599). Condition A / B. 

    ProvenanceFriedrich Wilhelm Waffenschmidt Collection, Cologne. 

    NoteAnother cup and lid is from the surviving works of the silversmith, it is kept in the town hall of Emden. 

    Van Ham. European Arts and Crafts, Auction 408, 16.05.2018


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    Lot 197. Silver columbine cup, Franz Doth, Nuremberg, ca. 1600. Height 31.5cm. Estimate 12,000 - 14,000 EUR. Lot sold 14,000 EUR. © Van Ham

    Silver, parcel-gilt and gilt interior. On circular, slightly domed foot with rising middle, two rows of staggered, trumpet-shaped bumps. On chased ruffled decorations a small baluster shaft, on it a slightly flared cuppa with fine decorations of flowers and scrolls on punched ground in between two rows of bumps. The slip lid with protruding rim decorated similarly and with high flower finial. 

    No assayer's mark, maker's mark on cuppa Franz Doth (active 1592 - 1619 (?), GNM no.168b). Condition A/B.  

    ProvenanceFriedrich Wilhelm Waffenschmidt Collection, Cologne.

    Note: Other pieces by this silversmith are in important collections such as the Hermitage in St Petersburg, the armory of the Kremlin, or the Museum of Applied Arts in Vienna. 

    Van Ham. European Arts and Crafts, Auction 408, 16.05.2018


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    Lot 41. An Antique bronze and shell necklace, early 1st millennium. Long. : 49,7 cm. Estimation: 1 800 € / 2 200 €. © Artcurial

    Collier composé d'éléments antiques en coquille en forme de vase, de perles grenetées en bronze et d'un élément central en agate en forme d'égide.  

    ProvenanceAncienne collection de Monsieur A., Paris 

    Archéologie, Arts d’Orient & Art Précolombien chez Artcurial, 75008 Paris, le 22 Mai 2018 à 14h30


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    Lot 42. An Antique bronze and cornelian necklace, circa early 1st millennium. Long. : 50,7 cm. Estimation: 1 800 € / 2 200 €. © Artcurial

    Collier composé d'éléments antiques en cornaline en forme de vase, de perles grenetées en bronze et d'un élément central en or.  

    Provenance : Ancienne collection de Monsieur A., Paris 

    Archéologie, Arts d’Orient & Art Précolombien chez Artcurial, 75008 Paris, le 22 Mai 2018 à 14h30 


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    Lot 79. A Roman marble bust of a woman or a goddess, circa 1st century. Haut. : 50,5 cm. Estimation: 50 000 € / 70 000 €. © Artcurial

    Torse féminin représentant probablement une Vénus impudique, debout, en légère torsion vers la droite. La sculpture devait être en appui contre un pilier dorsal aujourd'hui lacunaire. Quelques éclats.

    Provenance : Ancienne collection de Monsieur M. près de Rouen, avant 1980. 

    Archéologie, Arts d’Orient & Art Précolombien chez Artcurial, 75008 Paris, le 22 Mai 2018 à 14h30 


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    Lot 80. A Roman marble male torso, circa 1st-2nd century. Haut. : 39,9 cm. Estimation: 50 000 € / 70 000 €. © Artcurial

    Torse masculin, nu, en léger contrapposto, aux muscles saillants.

    Provenance : D'après le registre de la collection: 
    Ancienne collection du Professeur Wilhelm Kreutzberg, Munich 
    Achat Maxburg Galerie Antiken, Munich en 1976. 

    Archéologie, Arts d’Orient & Art Précolombien chez Artcurial, 75008 Paris, le 22 Mai 2018 à 14h30


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    Lot 571. A 33.02 carats Burmese Sapphire and Diamond Necklace, Van Cleef & Arpels. Estimate HK$4,300,000 - 5,500,000 ($550,000-700,000). © Phillips

    One cushion-shaped sapphire, 33.02 carats. Twelve marquise-shaped diamonds in the surmount, totalling approximately 5.50 carats. Brilliant-cut diamonds on the necklace, totalling approximately 25.00 carats. 18 karat white gold and platinum. French assay and maker's marks. Pendant detachable in two ways to form a diamond necklace with or without the marquise diamond-set centre piece. Signed V.C.A. and numbered 89956 on both the pendant and the necklace. Length approximately 400mm.

    (33.02-carat Sapphire). 
    Gübelin report, numbered 18037061, dated 3 March 2018, Burma, no indications of heating.
    SSEF report, numbered 98495, dated 7 March 2018, Burma, no indications of heating.

    Phillips. JEWELS AND JADEITE, HONG KONG AUCTION 28 MAY 2018


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    Lot 609. An Antique 5.65 carats Kashmir Sapphire and Diamond Brooch. Estimate HK$1,900,000 - 2,500,000 ($240,000-320,000). © Phillips

    One cushion-shaped sapphire, 5.65 carats. Old European-cut and round diamonds in the openwork design, totalling approximately 6.80 carats. 18 karat yellow gold. With pendant fitting.

    (5.65-carat Sapphire) . AGL report, numbered 1088037, dated 25 October 2017, Kashmir, no gemological evidence of heat.
    Gübelin report, numbered 17082093, dated 12 September 2017, Kashmir, no indications of heating.


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    Nikolaus Pfaff, Rhinoceros Horn Goblet with Lid, 1611. Horn of a white rhinoceros (Ceratotherium simum), tusks of an African warthog, silver gilt, partly painted, 59.7 x 27.5 cm. Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna, inv. no. KK 3709.

    Baring its fangs, a gilded creature confronts the viewer with two monstrous horns erupting out of the sides of its head. Its body serves as a goblet, and dissolves in form into a recognizable stem characteristic of a drinking vessel. At its “foot”is a gilded silver base, tying the two extremities together via material (head and feet). Constructed of white rhinoceros horn (ceratotherium simum), a material believed to be apotropaic (note 1), the body and stem are carefully sculpted with numerous natural motifs. Canine-like faces peer out from between the various chiasmus formed by intertwining coral branches around the stem, while above, coral branches grow upwards around the body of the cup. Interestingly, coral was also believed to be potent in warding off evil (note 1); one apotropaic material is sculpted to resemble another, perhaps as a kind of “double-protection” (note 2).The “horns”of the beast are made of African warthog tusks, a material that (along with the rhinoceros horn) could only have been acquired from a foreign source. However, the tusks were not recognized as warthog tusks, but rather believed to be horns of a dragon or wyvern –adding to the magic quality of the goblet.

    Perched around the rims of the golden lid and base rest small reptiles, insects, amphibians, and crustaceans. Legs splayed and mouths agape, the creatures seem to have crawled up from the underworld and recall the tradition of memento mori, symbolic reminders of death and decay.

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    Nikolaus Pfaff, Rhinoceros Horn Goblet with Lid (back).

    In fact, they also recall the tradition of life-casting, in which actual specimens are used as molds to attain perfect copies of nature’s creations. Ironic, then, are the lively depictions of such petrified organisms. For they seem to be bustling and issuing forth from the goblet itself, enhancing the boggling and somewhat disturbing effect of the goblet.

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    Nikolaus Pfaff, Rhinoceros Horn Goblet with Lid (detail)

    Upon closer inspection, it is clear that these small figurines are in fact arranged symmetrically (as is the rest of the cup), and contained within their own radial quadrant. On the body of the goblet are faint counterparts in light relief, interspersed between emerging human visages. According to Paulus Rainer, these faces serve as “symbols of the healing power of nature and the cosmos” (note 3). 

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    Nikolaus Pfaff, Rhinoceros Horn Goblet with Lid (back).

    The back of the goblet features what appears to be the same monstrous face, yet here it seems to be restrained by swirling voluted; the threat glaring out from the front of the goblet is thus suppressed in the back.

    Order and disorder, healing and menacing, live and dead (note 4), the cup features a series of dichotomous notions at play with one another.


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    Workshop of Wenzel Jamnitzer, Drinking Vessel in the Shape of a Cockerel, 3rd quarter of 16th century. Nautilus shell, partly gilt and painted silver, natural casts, H. 18.4 cm. Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna, inv. no. KK 1060.

    The milky-white body of the cockerel immediately captivates the viewer with its wondrous reflective luster. Its sheen is delicate, smooth, and soft, contrasting sharply with the solid, textured, and sharp gilding clasping the nautilus shell body. The striations of the shell radiate from the gold clasp near where its “wing” would be, producing a sense of rotundness already present in the form.

    The cockerel stands erect atop a mossy ground filled with lizards, all of which are life-casts. Tinges of green survive on the base, the paint evoking a sense of the verdant outdoors. Red coloration also survives atop the rooster’s crown and his wattle, directly contrasting and enhancing the vegetation below. The vessel is both highly illusionistic and blatantly artificial; while the reptiles are life-sized, the cockerel is much too small to appear realistic. Tromp-l'œil is employed in an extremely artful manner.

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    Workshop of Wenzel Jamnitzer, Drinking Vessel in the Shape of a Cockerel (detail).

    The smooth and glossy texture of the nautilus shell was especially appealing – above it served as the body of a rooster. Yet they could just as well be integrated into the forms of other species, for “It held that all creatures and creation ‘rhymed’ even though, superficially, they appeared unlike one another” (note 1).

    Such adoptions of form were very popular and a kind of delight, for they allow the hand to enter manipulate fine products of Nature in order to create something even more captivating. The discourse (and paragone) of Art and Nature is approached here from the mindset of art as a means to embellish nature, to make it more perfect (note 2). Demonstrated as well is man's ability (the practice of art) to transform materials (from nature) into a diversity of enthralling creations.

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    Nautilus drinking shell cup. Dresden, Grünes Gewölbe.

    note 1. Barbara Stafford, Devices of Wonder: From the World in a Box to Images on a Screen. (Los Angeles: Getty Research Institute, 2001), 4.

    note 2. For more on the discourse of Art and Nature, see 

    Lorraine Daston and Katherine Park. Wonders and the Order of Nature, 1150-1750. (New York: Zone Books, 1998), 255-300.