Sotheby’s in London sale of Old Master Sculpture & Works of Art will take place on 10th of July 2014 and will include a magnificent Gothic chandelier dating to the closing decades of the 15th century which finds a tantalizingly direct parallel in Jan van Eyck’s celebrated oil painting The Arnolfini Portrait in the National Gallery, London. Estimated at £200,000-300,000, ($265,000 – $365,000) and probably made in either Dinant, in the Southern Netherlands, or Nuremberg, in Southern Germany, two of the leading centers for metalwork production in Europe at the time, the chandelier is very rare. Few 15th-century examples of this scale survive, to be found only in leading museums and private collections (including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York and the Victoria & Albert Museum, London).
Impressive, multi-tiered, chandeliers were the preserve of the wealthiest private citizens, serving as signifiers of taste and prestige. The centerpiece of Van Eyck’s interior is a chandelier very similar in detail, with arms sprouting leaves, and a lion mask below the central architectural matrix. Chandeliers were often given as wedding gifts, and the example in the painting may, therefore, have been an expensive present to celebrate Giovanni di Nicolao Arnolfini’s marriage.
The sale also includes a rare medieval stained glass window dating to circa 1260 that was hidden amongst a group of 19th and 19th century stained glass windows purchased as a job lot at an auction in the US. The panel, illustrating a rare apocryphal scene from the Genesis, in which Adam bathes Eve after the birth of Cain, is one of two original sections of a window from Tours Cathedral known to have survived (est. £60,000-70,000).
Also, a limestone statue of Saint John the Baptist, one of only a handful of monumental stone carvings from the fabled workshops active in the Burgundian Netherlands in private hands, is estimated to bring £200,000-300,000 ($265,000 – $365,000).
For more information, you can reach out to Sotheby’s here.