Sunday, August 28, 2011

Rembrandt's Old Man with Beard, Fur Cap, and Velvet Cloak

Rembrandt's etching technique is second to none. See how exquisitely he renders the different textures of fur, hair, and velvet, while using sophisticated shading techniques to indicate the light source on the sitter's left. This rather fine 17th century print "Old Man with Beard, Fur Cap, and Velvet Cloakcan be traced back to the legendary collection of Mary Jane Sexton Morgan, cousin by marriage to the great collector J. Pierpont Morgan. As these things go, that's a pretty good provenance.

Lot 129 Rembrandt van Rijn (Dutch, 1606-1669)
Old Man with Beard, Fur Cap, and Velvet Cloak, c. 1632, second state of three, a 17th century impression (Bartsch/Hollstein, 262, ii/iii; Hind, 92). Monogrammed in the plate, collectors' stamps (see below) to the reverse. Etching on laid paper, plate size 5 7/8 x 5 1/8 in. (14.8 x 12.8 cm), framed.
Condition: Trimmed nearly to not within the plate mark, thin spots to sheet, pencil and ink annotations verso.

Provenance: An unidentified collector of early Dutch prints (Lugt, 2169) through to Mary Jane Sexton Morgan Collection (Lugt, 1879) No. 2104, March 15, 1886 sale, NYC, American Art Galleries, to the estate of Helene K. Sargeant, Wellesley, Massachusetts.

N.B. Mary Jane Sexton Morgan was a cousin of J. Pierpont Morgan by marriage. The sale of her extensive collections of prints, paintings, silver, and decorative arts was highly publicized, and according to a New York Times article published March 16th, 1886, the entire sale brought $1,205,090.42, an extraordinary sum for the sale of an art collection in the 19th century.
Estimate $6,000-8,000

Update 9/21/2011:  Sold for 
$11,258 on September 9, 2011.
Further information on Mary Jane Sexton Morgan may be accessed at the Frick Library Archives Directory for the History of Collecting in America:

Note:  My recent post concerning an etching by Renoir is here.  


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