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Pieter Claesz. (Burgsteinfurt, Westphalia c. 1597-1660 Haarlem). Quinces, peaches, a sliced melon on a silver plate, a bread roll, a leg of ham on a pewter plate, a knife, a 'Roemer' of white wine, a stoneware jug and a basket of fruit, all on a table

signed with monogram and dated 'A° Pc 1651' (lower left). oil on panel. 52.4 x 84.1 cm. Estimate €70,000 - €100,000  ($89,673 - $128,105)

Provenance : In the collection of the present owners and their family for at least 75 years.

Notes : By 1651, the date of the present picture, Pieter Claesz. had firmly established his reputation as one of the most important and sought after still life painters. His rich and masterly rendered compositions, painted with loose and broad brushstrokes relate closely to the new taste for 'pronkstillevens' in the mid 17th century by artists such as Jan Davidsz. de Heem and Willem Kalf. In these last years of his career, Claesz.'s palette is warm and subtle and the arrangement of the different elements and depiction of textures is playful.

Other works by Claesz. of around 1650 show similar objects and arrangements, such as the earthenware jug and tall beer glass in a picture dated 165(0?) sold with Christie's, London, 11 December 1987, lot 14 (see M. Brunner-Bulst, Pieter Claesz: der Hauptmeister des Haarlemer Stillebens im 17. Jahrhundert, Lingen, 2004, pp. 310, 312, no. 183). The wicker basket with different kinds of grapes and the juxaposition of peaches and quinces with the leavy branches are close to those in a still life in the Kunsthalle in Hamburg of circa 1651 (ibid., p. 316, cat. 191).

Christie's. Old Master Pictures. 10 November 2008.  Amsterdam. Image Christie's Ltd 2008. www.christies.com