Saturday, 10 September 2016

The Burlington Fine Arts Club Exhibition, Winter 1926-27 [Part III]

Downstairs in the Writing Room seven further items hung on a wall, all lent by Capt. Edward G. Spencer-Churchill, who, as we saw in the first post of this series, was one of the members of the Exhibition Committee.

Spencer-Churchill sold these cuttings a year later in the Northwick Park sale at Sotheby's, 21 May 1928, as follows:
no.1: lot 1
no.2: lot 2
no.3: lot 7
no.4: lot 12
no.5: lot 5
no.6: lot 8
no.7: lot 14

I'll save the rest of this group for another post, but no.1 was shown at the very top of Part I of this three-part post and is repeated above. In the 1928 sale it was described as "French, c. 1400" and attributed to the "Burgundian School":

It is now at The Met (28.140), attributed to Avignon, c.1400, presumably at least partly due to the Italianate script and decoration on the reverse:

Francesca Manzari contacted me after seeing the Crucifixion image at the top of the earlier post, and tells me that she has identified it as coming from the multi-volume Missal of Benedict XIII, and has attributed the decorated letters on the reverse to Sancho Gonter (one of the illuminators closest to the pope); François Avril has attributed the Crucifixion itself to the Maitre d'Orose, who worked in Avignon for Benedict.

Francesca also tells me that Sancho Gonter (or Gonthier) left his name in a Pontifical he completed for Benedict XIII, and this is how we know he must have been Spanish (Sancho), but he must have been trained in Bologna, because his style is absolutely Bolognese. No one would have suspected otherwise if he hadn't listed the initials he wanted to be paid for. He is very well documented -- see the many references in her La miniatura ad Avignone al tempo dei papi (1310-1410) (Modena, 2006) -- as working in Avignon for Benedict (but he starts working in Juan Fernandez de Heredia's Avignon editorial project, full of Spaniards, so maybe that's how he came to Avignon) and then he leaves Avignon after the pope's departure, following him in all his peregrinations through Southern France, Catalonia, Northern Italy (Savona) and then to Peniscola.

1 comment:

  1. Another great blog, Peter. It is interesting that no. 1 in the Spencer-Churchill/Northwick sale sold to Durlacher for 960 pounds (the second highest price paid) at that 1928 sale and that it was accessioned the same year by The Met. In your first blog on this thread Cockerell's Last Judgment leaf sold in 1957 for 2100 pounds to the Chicago Art Institute and was also accessioned the same year as the sale. Both strike me as fairly high prices for the time and the timing also demonstrates a change in how American institutions acquired material from private collections. At an earlier time these leaves might well have been gifts or bequests from collectors rather than purchases.
    Bill Stoneman


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