The European Decorative Arts Company is proud to present an outstanding collection of European Ivory Carvings from the 17th through the 19th centuries. The group of ivory sculptures featured on this website reflect many of the major art movements that took place in Europe, from the Baroque and Neo-classical, through the Romantic and Historicist periods. Our collection of ivory sculptures from the seventeenth and the eighteenth century include  religious and secular sculptures, and works by Simon Troger, Belleteste, and JJ Betzoldt.


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Simon Troger Group:" Woman Beating a Boy", Circa 1745

Maker(s):  Simon Troger Group
Date: Circa 1745
Materials/Techniques:    Ivory, fruitwood, glass
Dimensions: h 14.0 "
w 7.5 "

Origin: South German
Inventory #: 428


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The distinctive wood and ivory sculptures by the Tyrolean sculptor, Simon Troger, occupy an exceptional position in the history of European ivory carving.  Troger's work represents a departure from ivory carving during the first third of the 18th century, in their highly original concept and execution.

This group, "Old woman beating a boy", is considered a representative example of the so-called beggar groups for which Troger is renowned.  Here he seems to have exploited the irony of using a rare and valuable material, ivory, to portray the decrepit and unfortunate.  Another version of this subject entered into the collection of the Bayerisches Nationalmuseum in 1866.  The present version is closely comparable in execution with the Munich example, particularly the facial features and the musculature of the bodies.  The image source for this group is unknown, but perhaps Troger was making a moral point, contrasting the behavior of an old woman spanking a boy with another child, who is seen innocently showing affection for a little dog by gently petting it.


Scott Defrin, Barocke Kunststuckh, Festschrift fur Christian Theuerkauff, Sculpture Studies in Honour of Christian Theuerkauff, Edited by Marjorie Trusted and Regine Marth, Hirmer Verlag Munich, 2011, pp.178-184