Antwerp: Ce Catalogue se distribue a Anvers Chez A. Grange Imprimeur-Libraire, marche aux oeufs, a deux sols pour les pauvres, 1807. First Edition. Softcover. 8vo; 27 pp. 85 lots of paintings, all priced in contemporary manuscript, plus unpriced lots (108) of scientific instruments. Recent sympathetic wrappers. Title-page has three stains which penetrate blank verso, on which appear two tax stamps; some foxing; last page soiled. Very good. Item #1598
¶ Posthumous sale of the small but choice collection of Dutch and Flemish paintings assembled by Frans Emmanuel Ertborn (1716-1791), a wealthy Antwerp businessman who was the first Director of the Prussian East India Company (Emden). Although this collection featured a number of important paintings, it remains surprisingly unknown, and is virtually absent from all reference works consulted by us. It seems that van Ertborn's fame as a collector has been completely eclipsed by his grandson, Florent van Ertborn, whose museum of "primitive" Flemish paintings was given to the Royal Museum of Fine Arts, Antwerp. ¶ In the present sale lot 1 was the superb Rubens painting of Saint Walburga and the Miracle of the Ship (now Museum der Bildenden Kuenste, Leipzig). Lot 3 was Rubens' portrait of St James the Minor now at the Museo del Prado. Lot 42 of the sale ("Still Life in an Architectural Setting") by Jan Fyt and Erasmus Quellinus, the Younger is now at the Museum of Fine Arts Boston (Acc. 50.2728). But the highest price of all was paid for lot 17 (1,410 fl.), a mountainous landscape by Nicolaues Pieterszoon Berchem that has not yet been located ("Un paysage montagneus; sur le premier plan deux paysans conduisent un trompeau de moutons et de vaches; un peu en arriere l'on voit d'autres bestiaux. Dans l'eloignement il y a des fabriques, tours, montagnes, etc."). The subtitle of the catalogue adds useful information: "La Vente se sera publiquement a la chambre des Arquebusiers a Anvers mardi 18 Aout 1807 en argent decimal de France sous la direction de Monsieur N. F. Beeckmans. L'exposition publique en sera faite pendant le jour qui precedera celui de la Vente Immediatement apres la Vente des Tableaux on vendra sous la direction de Mons. Batalie, une tres-grande quantite d'Instruments de Phisique et de Chimie, tous tres-bien conditionnes." ¶ OCLC finds only the KMSKA copy, but to this census we add examples at Frick and Getty. ¶ Provenance: on final page the contemporary ownership inscription of "Mr. Spruijt" (i.e. Charles Joseph Francois Spruyt, the art dealer, painter, and curator for Prince Auguste d'Arenburg); the Getty Provenance Index lists 1,402 puchases by Spruyt from 1784-1810, including the two Rembrandts referenced by Hofstede de Groot (471c and 866) and Maes (Hofstede de Groot 560). ¶ Lugt 7295. ¶ Ours is the only copy currently on the market.