Walnut, France, ca. 1850 62” Exhibition The Dancers of the Villa of the Papyri, Villa of the Papyri, Herculaneum, Italy, January 20 - May 3, 2016 in the context of Winter Bruneaf 2016 Literature Spina, Luigi. 5 Dancers from the Villa of the Papyri. Milan, Italy: 5 Continent Editions in collaboration with Galerie Patrick & Ondine Mestdagh, 2016 Provenance Collection of Tom Tierney Private Collection, New York
Artists' models, the articulated figures found among the stocks of art-supply merchants, date back several centuries. Ranging in size from under seven inches to larger than life-size, the earliest and finest examples are of South German origin from the early 16th century Italian examples are also known. Minute and meticulous attention was paid to every articulation of these exquisite early boxwood examples of male and female figures. Engineered with an ingenious system of gut bands, they were not suitable for rigorous use in artists’ studios and were likely made for display in Kunstkammer collections, reflecting the interest in the human body during the Renaissance. Artists’ mannequins, or lay figures, became more androgynous from the 18th into the 19th century, by which time they were constructed in pine, linden or walnut with wooden pegs and ball joints. Reaching their peak of manufacture and popularity in France circa 1850, these figures were highly coveted. "Mannequin Articulé" would be listed in the inventory of important artists' possessions at that time. Still keenly sought after by collectors, their desirability and rarity is defined by size, quality, condition, age and, particularly, the deftness of the carving.
Original fingers reattached, some previous repairs to hands. Condition reports (given as opinion and not as guaranteed statements of fact) are added online throughout the auction process. The absence of a condition report does not imply that there are no condition issues with the lot. Please call (609) 397-9374 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions about this lot at least 24 hours prior to auction.