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Historismus Carving Chess Players in a Tavern, Circa 1890


Maker(s): 
Date: Circa 1890
Materials/Techniques:    Fruitwood and ivory
Dimensions:
Origin: German
Inventory #: 672
Inscription:
26.5 × 25.5 × 20 cm
Attributed to Carl Gutt (Fl. 1880's)

Other:


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The trend that began with the master Simon Troger (see cat. no. 7) in combining wood and ivory for small scale sculptural groups was revived in the second half of the 19th century. In keeping with the times, the subject matter changed from beggars to scenes from everyday life, such as tavern and courting scenes, very often in a historicist or romantic idiom, possibly derived from 17th century Dutch and Flemish paintings. This is an area of ivory carving that has received very little scholarly study even though there undoubtably was an active market for such groups and specialist workshops actively producing them certainly existed which will one day be revealed. One of the sculptors associated with this technique was Carl Gutt, who is discussed briefly by Philippovich,1 who also illustrates a similar wood and ivory group from a private collection, depicting music-making court figures dressed in 18th century costume (circa 1900).

 

Related literature:

1 Eugen von Philippovich, Elfenbein, Klinkhardt & Beirman, Munich, Band XVII, 1982, p. 276-278, fig. 231.