While working in Antwerp he perfected an idiosyncratic technique using engraved mother-of-pearl, bone and hardstone inlays to create floral still-life subjects. The natural variations in the shell and stone were used to suggest the colours and surface textures of the various flowers.
These Baroque curiosities are rare at auction, but a fine example was offered by Bonhams (28/27/21/14.5% buyer’s premium) as part of November 21 sale of the single-owner collection of Cornelis Paulus van Pauwvliet.
He collected for close to 50 years, furnishing an Amsterdam home just a stone’s throw from the Rijksmuseum with English and Dutch works of art from the 17th century to the late 19th century.
Van Pauwvliet had bought a 6 x 4.5in (15 x 12cm) panel from London dealership Jeremy in the 1990s (it had previously sold at Sotheby’s in Monaco). Depicting a floral garland with a butterfly and a variegated stone tabletop with dragonfly and squirrel, it is signed and dated to the left-hand corner within a paper scroll, Dirck Van Riswick, Invenit e Fecit, AD 1665.
It was estimated at £12,000- 18,000 and sold at £40,000.
Timed to the Golden Age
The consignment met with selective bidding, but the 211 lots generated a premium-inclusive £2.86m. Some fine English Golden Age clocks were topped by a George Graham table clock at £65,000 while an array of 18th century Dutch silver included a rare Amsterdam tankard hammered at £85,000.
The Graham clock was number 700 in the Tompion-Graham sequence dating it to c.1730. Housed within in a 14½in |(37cm) ‘Phase 3’ ebony case with silver mounts was a twin chain fusee movement with a Tompion-type pull quarter repeat. The backplate was plain except for the bold signature across the lower part Geo: Graham London and the number 700 punched along the bottom edge. The estimate was £30,000-50,000.
The £85,000 toast
The silver tankard, guided at the same sum, bore the marks of Johannes Schiotling, Amsterdam, 1767.
A piece included in the 2001-02 Rijksmuseum exhibition Rococo in the Netherlands: A Riot of Ornament, it was decorated across its otherwise plain tapering form with applied branches of trailing foliage.
Schiotling (1730-99) learned his trade under Olof Fernlöf in Gothenburg, but from 1762 was working in Amsterdam where a group of silversmiths gravitated around him.
As these items were brought into the UK from the Netherlands for sale, import VAT of 5% was due on the hammer prices.