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27 lots with images

December 5, 2002

Neckarstrasse 189-191

Stuttgart, 70190 Germany

Phone: 00 49 711 649690

Fax: 00 49 711 6496969

Email: contact@auction.de

River landscapes.

Lot 1: River landscapes. "Maria-Teresia Brooch" Artist: Sebastian Hess The three small ivory reliefs, set into the "Maria-Theresa Brooch", were considered marvels and, in their time, "the most delicate sculpted pictures in the world". They were produced

Description: River landscapes. "Maria-Teresia Brooch" Artist: Sebastian Hess The three small ivory reliefs, set into the "Maria-Theresa Brooch", were considered marvels and, in their time, "the most delicate sculpted pictures in the world". They were produced between 1773 and 1775 by the royal sculptor Sebastian Hess from Bamberg. The imperial court in Vienna acquired the works, conceived of as art-gallery-pieces, because of the unique delicacy of the three micropictures, which despite their small size are executed in extremely rich detail. In each of the three "River Landscapes", a number of people, trees and life-like buildings are rendered; as well, ruins of ancient structures can be discerned. Sailing vessels are also depicted; next to the frigate in the left micropicture, for example, a miniscule ship not much larger than a millimeter or four hundredths of an inch (0.04 inches) can be found. So that none of the three showpieces could be separated from one another, the imperial court ordered them set into a brooch decorated with diamonds. Jan Ingenhousz, the personal physician to Maria-Theresa after Gerard van Swieten, received the jewel as a gift of appreciation from the empress, due to his life-saving treatment of a member of the imperial family. (It is known that in the 1770's many citizens of Vienna died of smallpox, and that Ingenhousz developed a serum to combat the illness.) In 1779, the doctor sold the "Maria-Theresa Brooch" to a family close to English royalty. (Through a transcription error, some descriptions indicate the "Maria-Theresa Brooch" was sold in 1781.) It is said, that the amount received for this precious, imperial object was so great, that Ingenhousz could have purchased a small castle with it. After acquiring the "Maria-Theresa Brooch", the owners of this art gallery object acquired all of the micropictures they were offered. So began the creation of the Connoisseur Collection now made up of twenty-nine micropictures, set in twenty-seven objects Roughly only 100 of these marvels are known of in private collections and museums, worldwide. In 1998, the "Maria-Theresa Brooch" was the star attraction of the Japanese exhibition, "The Women of the house of Hapsburg", which took place in Tokyo, Okayama and Miyazaki. In connection with the exhibit, a cash value of two million US dollars was estimated for this irreplaceable object, originally stemming from the empress's possession. More accurately, the "Maria-Theresa Brooch" belongs to the so-called "priceless objects", because until now, no comparable treasury-piece had made its way to the art market, and consequently no comparative price could be established (Mican and Stefan [Expert Opinion] p. 4). The "Maria-Theresa Brooch" was likewise the main attraction in the exhibits of the Connoisseur Collection, which occurred under the title "Micropictures - Miracles of Sculpture" in the "Kunstkammer" of the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna, the Residence in Salzburg, the Jewelry Museum in Pforzheim, and the special exhibition at the Hunting and Fishing Museum in Munich. Through books, television, and newspaper reports, as well as posters ( for book presentations and exhibitions), the "Maria-Theresa Brooch" has become one of the most well known objects of art. Essentially, the "Maria-Theresa Brooch" consists of three ivory reliefs executed in microtechnique and displaying river landscapes. Before mounting the micropicture into the so-called "primary setting", the light blue background coating, for which pulverized cobalt glass served as the pigment, was applied with a paintbrush. The undecorated frame-mounting of the "primary setting" is made of fine silver (untarnished) and convex polished rock crystal. Two of the silver frame-mountings are horizontally rectangular with somewhat rounded ends (2.2 x 1.4 cm; roughly 14/16 x 9/16 inches), while the third is a vertically oriented oval (2.4 x 1.7 cm; roughly 15/16 x 11/16 inches). The three objects were sold by Sebastian Hess as micropictures to the royal court in these "primary settings". In order that none of the three treasury- pieces could be separated from one another, they were mounted together into a "secondary setting" in the shape a seven centimeter (roughly 2 12/16 inches) long brooch, ornamented with 86 "antique-cut" diamonds ( roughly 2.7 ct). The front side of the brooch is made of fine silver, and the back side is made of gold. (In this period, diamonds were set in silver due to the better reflective properties.) E375.000,-- US E334.000,--

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Pastoral Scene Artist's Signature: Stephany & Dresch The most finely sculpted picture in the world

Lot 2: Pastoral Scene Artist's Signature: Stephany & Dresch The most finely sculpted picture in the world" is the fitting short description for this inimitable ivory relief signed with "Stephany & Dresch". There is no other known work, originating from a

Description: Pastoral Scene Artist's Signature: Stephany & Dresch The most finely sculpted picture in the world" is the fitting short description for this inimitable ivory relief signed with "Stephany & Dresch". There is no other known work, originating from a sculptor, in which the individual details are executed in such small dimensions. For example, the boughs of the conifers and the branches of the trees near the castle have a microscopic diameter, and the distances between many branches amounts to less than one hundredth of a millimeter (0,01 mm; less than four ten-thousandths of an inch, 0.0004 inches). It is incomprehensible, that this microscopically detailed tree construction does not lie on the background of the picture, but rather stands free in the landscape and, in certain lighting, casts a shadow on the background. In consideration of such details, it is understandable that the works of G. Stephany & J. Dresch have been described as marvels, and even today, remain unable to be counterfeited. Displayed in the "Pastoral Scene" is a rocky, pastoral landscape along the edge of the water, a sailing ship, in which a sailor is found (page 14), and a many towered castle surrounded by trees. Across the water, on the craggy bank, are conifers. In the foreground of the micropicture, goats, sheep and a cow can be seen, for whom a shepherd standing on a rocky outcropping plays a straight cornet (ancient wind instrument). Several deciduous trees and a snag (a standing, dead tree) are rendered on a similar elevation. In the pastoral landscape of England, such rotted-out oak trees, overgrown with ivy, are not a rarity. Since the complete rendering of a mighty oak tree is not possible due to the small height of the micropicture, and a gnarled tree trunk creates a delightful contrast to the airy and delicately filigreed foliage, such dead tree trunks became a favored motif of the two artists. Due to the signature of "Stephany & Dresch", the "Pastoral Scene" can be viewed as a key, which makes it possible to attribute objects with pastoral scenes, presenting similarly constructed groves of trees (especially snags, which are standing, dead trees), to the two royal sculptors. The two small boxes for beauty marks (Lot 3 and Lot 4) are examples. Due to the unusually large format for a micropicture and the lively variety of the presentation, this landscape picture allows one to continually discover new details, when closely examined, which fascinate through their minuteness. It is unimaginable how long it must have taken to form thousands of leaves out of the hard ivory with the simplest gravers, as well as to create and arrange the twisting vines of ivy, completely sculpted around the snag (standing dead tree) and the tree at the left edge of the picture. As is usual with ivory objects of similar age, which have been executed on elongated and extremely thin material, a stress crack is present in the hair-thin ivory forming the water's surface. The two German artists, G. Stephany and J. Dresch, worked together during the 1790's in London, spending the summer months in Bath. Due to their inimitable micropictures, they were bestowed with the title of "Sculptors in Miniature on Ivory to their Majesties" by the English King George III (Stanton, p. 210-212). Throughout the 1790's, specifically beginning in 1791, the two artists displayed sculpted pictures in exhibitions at the Royal Academy of Arts in London. In total, twelve of their superlative ivory reliefs were displayed. It is said that they were very wealthy, in that art lovers outbid each other and paid "heavy sums" to acquire a piece by the famous royal sculptors. The "Pastoral Scene" was selected as "the most beautiful micropicture" by a poll, and therefore, was chosen as the cover picture for both the English and German editions of the book "Micropictures - Miracles of Sculpture". The 12.0 x 9.0 cm (4 12/16 x 3 9/16 inches) horizontally oriented oval picture, with a dark coated glass backing, is mounted into a black lacquered, rec- tangular, wood panel, with a cutout that perfectly matches the oval of the micropicture. This cut out displays a 4 mm (3/16 inch) deep gilded bevel, creating a delicate gold rim surrounding the picture. The original, rectangular, wooden, outer frame measures 24.5 x 22.0 cm (9 10/16 x 8 11/16 inches) and is adorned with gold leaf gilding. E45. 000,-- US E44.000,-

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Rural Landscape. Box for Beauty marks. Artist: Stephany & Dresch The micropicture

Lot 3: Rural Landscape. Box for Beauty marks. Artist: Stephany & Dresch The micropicture "Rural Landscape", created in the 1790's, is set into the lid of a lathe-turned ivory box for beauty marks. The arrangement of the motif and the technical construction

Description: Rural Landscape. Box for Beauty marks. Artist: Stephany & Dresch The micropicture "Rural Landscape", created in the 1790's, is set into the lid of a lathe-turned ivory box for beauty marks. The arrangement of the motif and the technical construction of the ivory relief are characteristic of G. Stephany and J. Dresch, who, in the form of a partnership, worked together as official sculptors for the royal court in London. Placed on a small hill in the middle of the pastoral scene, there is a tall tree and, highly typical of the two sculptors, a snag standing dead tree). In between the trees, a farmhouse, with an attached stall, can be found. To the right, an angler is sitting near the water, on whose banks stands a weeping willow. Behind him, three sheep and a goat are grazing. The steeple of a church gives the impression that a small village can be found in the distance. The boughs of the trees and the shrubs are carried out in unbelievably detailed microtechnique, particularly the tree standing in front of the farmhouse and the shrubs on the hill in the left of the picture. Many branches have a diameter of mere hundredths of a millimeter ( thousandths of an inch), and the distance between individual branches is also microscopically small. Due to the inimitably detailed construction, such ivory reliefs are among the works of art which can never be forged. In order to further accentuate the effect of depth in the relief of the micropicture, which was already arranged in multiple levels, there is a delicate silhouette of a tree painted in white on the dark glass of the background. Beauty marks were worn by both men and women of the rococo, especially by "people of high ranks". To suit this social circle's fondness for luxury, ornate and expensive boxes for beauty marks were produced. They were mostly referred to as "Mouche-Boxes", from the French word for flies, "mouche", which was the common name for beauty marks. Today, such boxes are commonly but incorrectly thought of as toothpick holders. In contrast to these "Mouche-Boxes", the cases designed for toothpicks had a recessed pocket into which the toothpick, mostly made from precious metals, exactly fit. Moreover, toothpick holders generally didn't have a mirror on the inside of the lid. G. Stephany (Stephani), denoted as an artist from Augsburg (Nagler), and his partner, J. Dresch, likewise from Germany, worked in London in the 1790's, and mostly spent the summer months in the noble spa city of Bath (Stanton, p. 210-212). Due to the unimaginably small construction, their micropictures were described as marvels. King George III of England was so fascinated by the subtle carvings of the two artists, that he bestowed upon them the title of "Sculptors in Miniature on Ivory to Their Majesties". After 1791, a total of twelve works of the two artists were exhibited at the Royal Academy of Arts in London, and sold for "heavy sums". It is said that Stephany and Dresch were very wealthy due to art lovers outbidding each other in order to acquire a sculpted picture or a box for beauty marks made by the two royal sculptors. The horizontally formatted micropicture, "Rural Landscape", is set into the lid of a box for beauty marks, and measures 5.7 x 1.7 cm (2 4/16 x 11/16 inches . The oblong box made of lathe-turned ivory, with rounded narrow ends, measures 8.8 cm long, 2.9 cm wide and, 1.2 cm high (3 7/16 x 1 2/16 x 8/16 inches), not including the setting for the micropicture. The so- called "primary setting", which connects the glass cover, the ivory relief and the dark glass background, is hardly able to be seen. It is hidden behind the gold frame, which mounts the entire object onto the lid of the box. The lid is attached with a golden hinge and closes with a latch operated by a push-button mechanism. On the inside of the lid is a small mirror. The interior bottom of the box is lined in red velvet, onto which the beauty marks, already applied with mastic (a resin based adhesive made from mastic trees), would cling. E4.200,-- US E4.100,--

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Pasture Landscape Box for Beauty marks Artist: Stephany & Dresch The micropicture

Lot 4: Pasture Landscape Box for Beauty marks Artist: Stephany & Dresch The micropicture "Pasture Landscape", created in the 1790's, displays composition of motif and elaboration relating to the style of G. Stephany and J. Dresch, who in the form of a

Description: Pasture Landscape Box for Beauty marks Artist: Stephany & Dresch The micropicture "Pasture Landscape", created in the 1790's, displays composition of motif and elaboration relating to the style of G. Stephany and J. Dresch, who in the form of a partnership worked together as official sculptors to the royal court in London. A slightly hilly landscape is presented with shrubbery, trees, and a church in the distance. The scene also shows grazing sheep, two people deep in discussion, and a young lad walking down the path carrying a stick over his shoulder with a bundle hanging down from it. Especially the branches of the shrubs and trees are constructed in microscopically small scale. Many branches have a diameter of mere hundredths of a millimeter (thousandths of an inch), and the distance between individual branches is also microscopically small. Due to the inimitably detailed construction, such ivory reliefs are among the works of art which can never be forged. G. Stephany (Stephani), denoted as an artist from Augsburg (Nagler), and his partner J. Dresch likewise from Germany, worked in London in the 1790's, and mostly spent the summer months in the noble spa city of Bath (Stanton, p. 210 212). Due to the unimaginably small construction, their micropictures were described as marvels. King George III of England was so fascinated by the subtle carving of the two artists, that he bestowed upon them the title of "Sculptors in Miniature on Ivory to Their Majesties". After 1791, a total of twelve works of the two artists were exhibited at the Royal Academy of Arts in London, and sold for "heavy sums". It is said that Stephany and Dresch were very wealthy due to art lovers outbidding each other in order to acquire a sculpted picture or box for beauty marks made by the two royal sculptors. (Such containers were referred to as "Mouche-Boxes", from the French word for flies, "mouche", which was the common name for beauty marks in that period.) The horizontally formatted micropicture, "Pasture Landscape", set into the lid of a box for beauty marks, measures 4.2 x 1.6 cm (1 10/16 x 10/16 inches). The oblong box made of precious wood with rounded narrow ends, has ornamental edges of ivory. It measures 8 8 cm long, 3.0 cm wide, and not including the setting for the micropicture, 1.2 cm high (3 7/16 x 1 3/16 x 8/16 inches). The so- called "primary setting", which connects the glass cover, the ivory relief, and the dark blue glass (Bristol glass) background, can hardly be seen. It is hidden behind the gold frame, which mounts the entire object onto the lid of the box. The lid is attached with a golden hinge and closes with a clasp operated by a push-button mechanism. On the inside of the lid is a small mirror. The interior bottom of the box is lined in velvet, onto which the beauty marks, already applied with mastic (a resin based adhesive made from mastic trees), would cling. E4.200,-- US E4.100,--

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Pastoral Scene Clasp for a necklace or a bracelet Artist: G. Stephany The micropicture

Lot 5: Pastoral Scene Clasp for a necklace or a bracelet Artist: G. Stephany The micropicture "Pastoral Scene" is the counterpart to the micropicture "Frigate on the High Seas", which was created by the royal sculptor G. Stephany and is monogrammed with "G.

Description: Pastoral Scene Clasp for a necklace or a bracelet Artist: G. Stephany The micropicture "Pastoral Scene" is the counterpart to the micropicture "Frigate on the High Seas", which was created by the royal sculptor G. Stephany and is monogrammed with "G. St." (Lot 6). The "Pastoral Scene" presents a rolling landscape in the middle of which two houses can be seen on top of a small hill. Below these, three sheep and a goat are grazing while being watched over by a shepherd, who is sitting in the shade of two tall trees with palm- shaped leaves. The leaves of these trees, as well as the branches of the trees found in front of the house and on the right side of the picture, are constructed in unbelievable detail typical of G. Stephany Up to a few years ago, this picture was still attributed to Nikolaus Klammer (Hartmann, Elfenbeinkunst, p. 110). In contrast to Klammer, the trunks of the trees created by Stephany are pricked with ivory shavings through which the bark exhibits a natural character. Many branches have a diameter of mere hundredths of a millimeter ( thousandths of an inch), and the distance between individual branches is also microscopically small. Due to the inimitably detailed construction, such ivory reliefs are among the works of art which can never be forged. G. Stephany (Stephani), denoted as an artist from Augsburg (Nagler), and his partner J. Dresch, likewise from Germany, worked in London in the 1790's, and mostly spent the summer months in the noble spa city of Bath (Stanton, p. 210-212). Due to the unimaginably small construction, their micropictures were described as marvels. King George III of England was so fascinated by the subtle carvings of the two artists, that he bestowed upon them the title of "Sculptors in Miniature on Ivory to Their Majesties". After 1791, a total of twelve works of the two artists were exhibited at the Royal Academy of Arts in London, and sold for "heavy sums". It is said that Stephany and Dresch were very wealthy due to art lovers outbidding each other in order to acquire a works of art by the two royal sculptors. Dark blue glass (Bristol glass) serves as the background for the "Pastoral Scene". As with nearly all ivory reliefs constructed with microtechnique, the "Pastoral Scene" has two different settings. The so-called "primary setting" is composed of a vertically oriented oval frame-mounting, whose glass cover is attached by a golden bezel. Set in this manner, the artist sold the object as an art-gallery-piece Later, the object was put into a jewelry setting by a goldsmith; the so-called "secondary setting" was a golden clasp for a necklace or a bracelet. (Next to the "secondary setting", the bezel of the "primary setting" is clearly recognizable as the rim around the ivory relief.) So that the "Pastoral Scene" and its counterpart, the "Frigate on the High Seas", could not be separated, they were subsequently united in an octagonal, wooden frame measuring 16.5 x 11.5 cm (6 8/16 x 4 8/16 inches). In the interest of providing the opportunity to acquire just one of the micropictures, the two objects have been separated for the auction. They are mounted into a black lacquered wood panel with vertically oriented oval cutouts. These cutouts display a gilded bevel creating a delicate gold rim surrounding the pictures. The outer decorative wooden frame is plated in gold leaf and adorned with an egg and dart style bead-moulding. At any time, the object can be removed from the frame and worn as a piece of jewellery. E9.500,-- US E9.200, -

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