Austrian School, circa 1480 The Adoration of the Magi

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Lot 69
Austrian School
circa 1480
The Adoration of the Magi

Sold for £ 50,062 (US$ 65,522) inc. premium
Austrian School, circa 1480
The Adoration of the Magi
oil on panel
131.5 x 99.2cm (51 3/4 x 39 1/16in).

Footnotes

  • Provenance
    Frederick Mirrielees (1851-1914), and thence by descent to the present owner

    We are grateful to Dr. Konrad Bernd for suggesting that in particular the present panel may be compared to an Adoration of the Magi in the Oberhausmuseum, Passau. We are further grateful to Dr. Stephan Kemperdick for suggesting that the present altarpiece is very close in style to the so-called Master of the Habsburgs, a painter working in the northern Tyrol or Styria around 1500 and comparing it to his Adoration of the Magi in the Belvedere, Vienna.

    From around 1803 due to widespread secularization large numbers of German monasteries lost thousands of altarpieces, stained glass and sculptures which were confiscated and then disposed of by local dukes and kings. It was from this time that great museums like the Alte Pinakothek in Munich were founded and many art dealers were becoming established. Many German, Austrian and Swiss works also laid the foundations at this time of both small and large English and Scottish private collections, while furnishing a number of churches too. In 1821 the English merchant living in Berlin, Edward Solly, sold about 3,000 panels to the Berlin Royal collection, 677 of which went on to form a core of the Gemäldegalerie in Berlin.

    Frederick Mirrielees was a successful businessman who in 1879 married Margaret Currie (1854-1925), a Scottish heiress whose father owned what was to become the Union Castle Shipping Line. Mirrielees commissioned Sir Edwin Lutyens (1869-1944) to build Goddards, a country house at Abinger Common near Dorking with gardens designed by Gertrude Jekyll (1843-1932) which was completed in 1900. Originally conceived with the philanthropic purpose of being a 'home of rest to which ladies of small means might repair for holiday', Goddards was later enlarged as a home for the Mirrielees's son, retaining the unusual feature of an indoor bowling alley.
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