Loading Spinner

Maurits Cornelis Escher (1898 - 1972)

Lot 60: Escher: the proto-edition of Puddle!

Adams Amsterdam Auctions

December 2, 2019
Amsterdam, Netherlands

More About this Item


Description

- ESCHER, M.C. (Dutch 1898 - 1972). Modderplas [Puddle], 1952. Woodcut in black, green and brown on Japanese paper, remnants of pencil annotation 'eigen druk' (lower right), inscribed, monogrammed and dated in the block 'UNE MARE EN RELATION AVEC LA LUNE RÉVÈLE DES PARENTÉS CACHÉES - ANTOINE DE SAINT-EXUPÉRY MCE II-'52' (upper left); framed under passe-partout behind glass. Margins skilfully restored (signature lost), laid down on tissue paper, some creasing.

Dimensions

Image size 23.5 x 31.5 cm., frame size 37 x 45.5 cm.

Artist or Maker

ESCHER, M.C. (Dutch 1898 - 1972).

Literature

This version not in Bool; The Magic of M.C. Escher (ed. J.L. Locher et. al.). New York, Thames and Hudson, 2017, p. 104

Provenance

Family of the first owner; (probably) acquired directly from the artist

Notes

Rarissime early impression, printed before M.C. Escher removed the inscription 'Une mare en relation avec la lune révèle des parentés cachées - Antoine de Saint-Exupéry' from the block. To his friend Paul Kessler he wrote: "In addition, I also finished the Puddle, a woodcut in three colors, a very impressionistic theme to be sure (for me), but the symbolism of which fascinated me in the manner of Antoine de Saint-Exupery who says somewhere: Une mare en relation avec la lune révèle des parentés cachées ("A puddle in relation to the moon reveals hidden connections")" (quoted in The Magic of M.C. Escher, p. 104). Until today it is assumed that Escher gained the inspiration for his print Modderplas during his evening walks through the woods (e.g. Erik Kersten, bit.ly/2Nhqg8Q). But the fact that Escher initially executed the work with a text - contrary to his custom - can also mean that the quote was so crucial because it was the source of this composition. It is quite conceivable that Escher "suddenly stood still" because he saw in a puddle what he had just read in Saint-Exupéry's Terre des hommes (1939). It is not known how many of these first prints were made, but it is clear why Escher eventually published it without: the text would distract, the image had to be autonomous. When removing the text, Escher proceeded with less precision than he was used to: the definitive print clearly shows the remains of the text. So unobtrusive that most will have looked over it, but clear enough to leave no room for misunderstanding about the order. It is assumed that Escher only gave a small number of friends a copy before sanding away the inscription. We don't know how many of the very few copies of this first version have survived, but there is no doubt that they are among the rarest Escher prints.
Text or no text the puddle serves as a portal between two worlds, one showing a reflection of the trees under the full moon, and another one bearing traces of the past: footsteps and tracks of tires in the mud. As time goes by and humans vanish, nature solemnly remains. Surprisingly, just like this exceptionally elusive museum piece.

Request more information

Payment

Accepted forms of payment: MasterCard, Visa, Wire Transfer

Shipping

The auction house will ship, at the expense and risk of the buyer.

NRC 12 - Fine Art

by
Adams Amsterdam Auctions
December 2, 2019, 6:30 PM CET

Amsterdam, Netherlands

Buyer's Premium

€0 - 100,000: 27.2%
€100,001+: 13.0%

From: To: Increment:
€0 €99 €5
€100 €199 €10
€200 €299 €20
€300 €499 €25
€500 €999 €50
€1,000 €1,999 €100
€2,000 €4,999 €200
€5,000 €9,999 €500
€10,000+ €1,000

Extended Bidding

5 minutes/bid

Conditions of Sale

1. Items may be returned - in the same condition - if any serious defect not mentioned in the catalogue is found. Notice must be given promptly, and the item returned within 8 days of receipt. Excepted are lots comprising 3 or more works, works not mentioned in the description separately ("others"), or items marked "w.a.f." ("with all faults") or "n.s.t.r." ("not subject to return"). Condition of frames and passe-partouts is not a reason for return.

2. Prices are in Euros. Bids are raised by fixed increments. Up to €100 the increment is €5, from €100 to €200 the increment is €10, from €200 to €300 the increment is €20, from €300 to €500 the increment is €25, from €500 to €1.000 the increment is €50, from €1.000 to €2.000 the increment is €100, from €2.000 to €5.000 the increment is €200, from €5.000 to €10.000 the increment is €500, and from €10.000 upwards the increment is €1.000.

3. The highest bidder shall be the purchaser of the lot. In case of dispute, the auctioneer alone is entitled to decide on price and/or purchaser. The auctioneer has the right to refuse any bid without stating his reason.

4. Each buyer is held to buy for his own account and cannot claim any commission.

5. Winning bidders pay a buyer's premium over the hammer price plus the 3% online transaction fee charged by Invaluable. The buyer's premium is 24.2% including all taxes up to and including € 100,000; and 10% including tax of the portion of the hammer price above € 100,000.

6. The winning bidder is responsible for paying the resale royalty (droit de suite) if applicable. Droit de suite is payable to living artists or their heirs within 70 years following the death of the artist on resold artworks with a resale price [hammer price + total premium excl. VAT] of at least €3.000. The artist must be an EU national, or a national of Iceland, Liechtenstein or Norway, or must be a permanent resident of the Netherlands. The royalty of 4% is to be paid on resale prices from €3.000 to €50.000; on the prices from € 50,000.01 to € 200,000 3% of royalties is to be paid, from € 200,000.01 to € 350,000 droit de suite is 1%, from € 350,000.01 to € 500,000 - 0.5%; above € 500,000.01 - 0.25%. Resale royalties are not subject to VAT.

7. All purchases must be paid for within two weeks of the receipt of the invoice. Property of the goods does not pass to the purchaser until the invoice has been paid in full. Any costs caused by buyers not complying with these conditions (e.g. collecting fees) will be chargeable to them. Payments are accepted by bank transfer, debit card (if paying in the office), Visa and Mastercard. All bank charges are to be paid by the buyer. Payments by credit card are subject to a 4% surcharge on the total invoice amount up to €1.000; on invoices from €1.000 to €2.000 the surcharge is 3%, and on amounts exceeding €2.000 a surcharge of 2,5% is applicable.

8. Shipping is at cost and risk of the purchaser. All shipments are sent through standard surface mail unless the buyer explicitly requests otherwise.

9. Buyers who wish to collect their goods must do so within two weeks of the date of the auction. All costs incurred after this period, e.g. storage, insurance, transport etc., will be charged to the buyer.

10. All images and lot descriptions appearing in the online catalogue are the property of Adams Amsterdam Auctions. They can be used freely for the promotion of the auction. Once the sale is closed, it is strictly forbidden to use them without the written permission of the auction house. All rights reserved.

11. On every purchase Dutch law only is applicable. In case of disputes in first instance the judge of the appropriate chamber in Amsterdam is exclusively competent to decide in first instance.

12. By bidding at the auction, the bidder accepts these terms and conditions of sale in full.

Premium & Taxes

Winning bidders pay a buyer's premium over the hammer price plus the 3% online transaction fee charged by Invaluable. The buyer's premium is 24.2% including all taxes up to and including € 100,000; and 10% including tax of the portion of the hammer price above € 100,000.

Payment

Payments are accepted by bank transfer, Maestro, VP, Visa, Mastercard and cash.

Shipping Terms

The auction house will ship, at the expense and risk of the buyer.