Dalva Brothers Antiques, Antique Furniture, New York

French 18th century furniture, clocks, lighting, paintings, porcelain, sculpture and tapestries


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Bead mosaic: the Temptation of Saint Anthony
A fine and rare mosaic portraying The Temptation of Saint Anthony. The hermit, seeking to be alone in his cave, is beset by temptations and demons summoned by Lucifer who flies overhead bearing a pitchfork. A beautiful maiden embraces the bearded saint while he is being prodded by an imp. The Queen of Sheba arrives on a cyborgian dragon-cart with an entourage that includes a demonic Cupid. Death, in the form of a skeleton, plays cello to seduce the saint into relief from his torments by suicide. A pig, often associated with St. Anthony, is tortured by a goblin. Amid the mayhem, a church burns.

The mosaic is composed of glass beads of minute scale (verre sablé), turquoise, coral, sea pearls, mother of pearl and twisted wires. The frame is inlaid with pewter, brass, and mother of pearl in the technique often used on fine arms in Germany in the 17th century. [Small losses notably to the face of a woman leaning on a stone near the Saint. A replaced mother of pearl roundel at the top of the frame – probably originally containing a monogram.]

Height (ins.): 17 ¾ (45.1 cm.)      Depth (ins.): 15¼ (38.7 cm.)
Origin: German, 17th century     Period: Baroque



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