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Holt Antiques at Walsingham Mill

Late 15th Century / Early 16th Century Continental Antique Carved Wood Sculpture, Thought To Be Jakobus, Count of Lichtenberg, (B.1416-D.1480)

Late 15th Century / Early 16th Century Continental Antique Carved Wood Sculpture, Thought To Be Jakobus, Count of Lichtenberg, (B.1416-D.1480)

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A modestly proportioned Continental antique carved wooden sculpture of a male's head depicted wearing a "chaperon" (hat) with long hair and flowing beard. His eyes and lips still bear their original polychrome.

German origin. Late 15thC / 16thC.

The sculpture is thought to represent Jakobus of Lichtenberg. Also known as "James the Bearded". There are comparable examples of this sculpture in a number of collections worldwide and an image is shown within the gallery to compare it. The stone comparable entitled "The Bearded Prophet" but also known as "Head of an Ottoman in Turban" is believed to be a representation of Jakobus and was carved by Nikolaus Gerhaert, circa 1463-1463, and once adorned the entrance to the Chancellery of Strasbourg. This is now in the collection of Musée de l’Œuvre Notre-Dame in Strasbourg.

About James of Lichtenburg:

Sometimes known as Jacques de Lichtenburg or James the bearded (25th May 1416 – 5th January 1480), he was a nobleman from Lichtenberg in the northern part of Alsace. He served as overlord of Strasbourg and was the last in the male line of the House of Lichtenberg.

He took an interest in astronomy and owes much of his prominence to the surviving records of his unconventional lifestyle and his long running amorous liaison with Barbara von Ottenheim.

About Sculptor Nikolaus Gerhaert (c.1420 – 28th June 1473):

Also known as Nikolaus Gerhaert van Leyden, was a Dutch sculptor, although aside from his sculptures, few details are known of his life. He worked in both stone and wood.

Gerhaert is considered to be the most influential northern European sculptor of the 15th century. He was born in Leiden, Holland (present day Netherlands) sometime around 1420. Based on the location of his work, he spent most his working life in the Germanic areas of Trier, Strasbourg, Baden, Konstanz, and Vienna. Much of his documented work is lost to history, but what has survived is characterized by elaborate drapery and extreme physical realism, both extraordinarily vivid and unconventional. His specialties were tombs, altarpieces and other religious pieces. Sandstone and limestone are among his most frequent mediums.

One of his most well known works currently resides in the Musée de l’Œuvre Notre-Dame in Strasbourg (Alsace, present day France). Called the Buste d'homme accoudé (circa 1465), it is an undisputed masterpiece, and is believed to be a self-portrait. Gerhaert died on 28 June 1473 in Wiener Neustadt (present day Austria) while working on the tomb of emperor Frederick III. Nicolaus Gerhaert was summoned to the imperial court to create this tomb after the death of his wife empress Eleanor of Portugal. The tomb was completed in 1513.

Provenance: Formerly in the contents of a private German collection prior to our acquisition.

Size: Height 27 cm (10 1/2") x Width 10 cm (4") x Depth 9 cm (3 1/2")

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