Nov 03, 2015 - Sale 2396

Sale 2396 - Lot 258

Price Realized: $ 12,500
?Final Price Realized includes Buyer’s Premium added to Hammer Price
Estimate: $ 5,000 - $ 8,000
Knot with an Oblong Shield.

Woodcut, 1505-7. 268x210 mm; 10 1/2x8 1/4 inches. Second state (of 2), with the monogram center. Small coat-of-arms with a diagonal band and two stars watermark (Meder 220). A very good Meder 2c impression, with strong contrasts. With thread margins or trimmed on the border line, with the border line preserved all around.

According to Passavant, Durer's woodcuts from the series of so-called Six Knots were based on Italian engravings from the circle of Leonardo da Vinci made around 1490-1500. Bartrum notes that the earliest impressions of Dürer's Knot woodcuts were printed on paper with an Italian watermark of a cardinal's hat, also seen on Dürer's drawings from his Italian sojourn in 1505-7, which makes it likely that these woodcuts were produced by the artist while he was still in Venice or shortly after his return to Nuremberg. "It is unclear what type of ornament is inicated in these designs. They may have been designs for embroidery or they may have served as patterns for a kind of decorative puzzle for artists working in various crafts. Similar knot designs occur in paintings and mural decorations of Leonardo's school, such as the ceiling of the Sala delle Asse in the castle at Milan," (Bartrum, Albrecht Dürer and his Legacy, Princeton, 2002, p. 161).

An exceedingly scarce woodcut; we have not found another impression at auction in the past 30 years. Bartsch 141; Meder 275.