Lot 103. A Flemish Oak Large Fountain Mask, 17th Century; 31 ¾ in. (80.5 cm.) high. Estimate GBP 7,000 - GBP 10,000 (USD 8,834 - USD 12,620). © Christie's Images Ltd 2019.
This fountain mask is carved in oak in deep relief and show a bearded man with open mouth, wide eyes and flowing locks of hair.
Old repairs to the faces and traces of polychrome in the hair and corners of the eyes.
The tradition of human fountain masks dates back many hundreds of years; for a pair in bronze from the end of the 15th century and a pair in stone from Nürnberg, Germany, see biblio.
Bibliography: Die Mittelalterlichen Bronzen im Germanischen Nationalmuseum by Ursula Mende pub.2013 see p.49 Abb.14 Kat.Nr.2, Brunnenmaske, P1.0.225 and p.51 Abb.17 Ehemals Nurnberg. Ludwigstrasse 18. Brunnenmasken.
Christie's. Peter Petrou: Tales of the Unexpected, London, 30 January 2019