notes, finds & fragments of research
I am very excited. As I explained in my earlier blog post On Auctions , I’m trying to keep myself informed about paintings that are brought to auction. After a hiatus I found some quiet time again, to scrutinise the online catalogues of the various auction houses and wonder, oh wonder – what have I found this evening!
Sotheby’s, Old Master and British Paintings Day Sale,
London July 5th, 2012
Lot 183 (estimation: 20,000-43,000 GBP)
Lot sold: 25,000 GBP
North Netherlandish School, ca. 1540
A portrait of a gentleman, possibly a member of the Van Baersdorf [sic!] Family of Zeeland. A portrait of a lady, possibly a member of the Schagen or Van Beyeren-Schagen Family.
Oil on Panel, 34 by 26 cm (each)
Nearly fifteen years ago I laid the foundations for my continuously growing database on the elite of the former County (and currently Province) of Zeeland in the Netherlands, this has mounted to thousands of people who are all related to each other in some way, adorned with information about their properties, offices, portraits, the odd notes on characteristics, etcetera. It has not only given me a great start for various research projects, but I have also been able to help many colleagues over the years. And now – hoorah, I found photos of a set of very old portraits from possibly the highest regions of the Renaissance elite of Zeeland: Mr. and Mrs. Van Baersdorp. This old noble family owned vast estates and lands on one of the Zeelandic islands.
The owner -bless him- has handed them to Sotheby’s for auction, and that’s the best possible chance for historians/researchers to find unknown portraits; as auction houses like Sotheby’s and Christie’s have fabulastic websites with a lot of useful information. Sotheby’s in this case, names him Van Baersdorf; a spelling of the name I haven’t encountered yet, so I do wonder how they came up with that. Nevertheless her portrait carries (almost definitely) the coat of arms of the Van Baersdorp family on the half reserved for her husband, and the other half would be that of her own family – this I can find, so, again: hoorah! I do wonder a bit about the mentioned dog on the back of his portrait, it is possibly a hint of some sorts towards his social status and/or office.
I must go to the archives tomorrow and see if I can track down this lovely couple. This is absolutely, positively, the best find of the month.