A very rare pair of Höchst figures of Pantaloone and Pantalone from the Italian Comedy, circa 1752
Lot 157
A very rare pair of Höchst figures of Pantaloone and Pantalone from the Italian Comedy, circa 1752
Sold for £35,000 (US$ 56,100) inc. premium

Lot Details
A very rare pair of Höchst figures of Pantaloone and Pantalone from the Italian Comedy, circa 1752 A very rare pair of Höchst figures of Pantaloone and Pantalone from the Italian Comedy, circa 1752
A very rare pair of Höchst figures of Pantaloone and Pantalone from the Italian Comedy, circa 1752
Modelled by J.C.L. von Lücke, each wearing a fur-lined hat, long black coat and iron-red costume, Pantalone with a white kerchief and a dagger at his waist and red shoes, his companion wearing pale yellow shoes, both canted, flared rectangular pedestals moulded at the front with a recessed panel and embellished in gilding and with a tree-stump support at the rear, 21.7cm and 20.5cm high, wheel marks in iron-red to side of bases (minor chips and restoration) (2)

Footnotes

  • Provenance:
    The Emma Budge Collection, Hamburg, sold by Hans W. Lange, Berlin, 27-29 September 1937, lots 849 and 850;
    Acquired in the above auction by the city of Mainz;
    Restituted to the heirs of Emma Budge in 2013

    Literature:
    Mainzer Zeitschrift 1939, p. 103, pl. X,1;
    Mittelrheinische Kunstwerke aus sechs Jahrhunderte, exhibition catalogue (1954), no. 35, ill. 24;
    K.H. Esser, Höchster Fayencen und Porzellane (1962), ill. 10;
    K.H. Esser/H. Reber, Höchster Fayencen und Porzellane (1964), p. 17, no. 18;
    R. Jansen (ed.), Commedia dell'Arte (2001), p.150 (Pantaloone)

    Exhibited:
    Mainz, Landesmuseum, 1937-2013, inv. nos. 38/36 & 37
    Mainz, Landesmuseum, Mittelrheinische Kunstwerke aus sechs Jahrhunderten, 1954;
    Berlin, Charlottenburg Palace, Commedia dell'Arte Fest der Komödianten, 14 July-14 October 2001 (Pantaloone)

    For a discussion of the models, the attribution to the modeller Johann Christoph Ludwig von Lücke, who was also active at the Meissen and Vienna factories, see Horst Reber, The Commedia dell'arte at the Höchst Factory, in R. Jansen (ed.), op. cit., pp. 39-43 (pp. 138-144 in the German language volume). The author suggests (p. 41) that the Höchst Italian Comedy figures of this series, and a series of Würzburg figures also on pedestals, were influenced by the statues that stood in the garden of the Schönborn Palais in Vienna through engravings of 1727 by Salomon Kleiner.

    The rarity of both series of figures suggests that they were only ever produced in limited quantities, perhaps solely at the behest of the factories' respective rulers. These figures, and the figure of Scaramouche (see preceding lot), are among the finest examples of these Höchst figures, distinguished by the exceptionally fine decoration and use of gilding on the pedestals.

    The figure of Pantalone is probably based on the engraving of 'Pantalon', published by Johann Jacob Wolrab, Nuremberg, circa 1720, whereas the female figure of Pantaloon may have been based on the male 'Pantalon' from an anonymous series of engravings, circa 1720 (both engravings illustrated in this catalogue).
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