With one of his brothers and also in the name of another brother recently deceased, Jakob the Rich has built in Augsburg from 1509 to 1512 a chapel in the style of Italian funerary architecture, which is an innovation for that time in Germany. For the decoration of this grandiose monument, he calls on the best German artists : Dürer, Burgkmaier, Breu, Hans Daucher. He dies in 1525.
The furnishing of this chapel is scattered between 1817 and 1821 under a pretext of modernization. It included an alignment of beige limestone putti about 30 cm high carved by Daucher, grouped in pairs on a marble balustrade. The total number of original putti is not identified.
Each statuette shows a baby-faced angel leaning on a sphere that symbolizes the vanity of earthly occupations. They are different one another in terms of facial expression, hairstyle, leg position, allegorical meaning.
In 1921 the Fugger family decides to restore the chapel. An active search leads to five putti distributed in several neighboring gardens. They are now kept at the Maximilian Museum in Augsburg.
Two other putti have just been found in the château de Beaurepaire at Martinvast near Cherbourg, where their presence had never been identified. The provenance is however understandable : the castle was bought in 1867 by the banker Arthur de Schickler for his project of an extravagant neo-Gothic residence with a Moorish park.
The Martinvast putti do not form a pair together but separately with two specimens of the Maximilian Museum. Having escaped in their attic the degradations of an outdoor storage, they keep intact the sharpness of the carving by the master. They remain together as lot 35 for sale by Sotheby's in Paris on May 16. The catalog proposes a date around 1525-1530.
SOLD for € 2.35M including premium