Coat of Arms with a Lion and a Cock (B. 100; M., Holl. 97; S.M.S. 35)

Engraving, circa 1502-3, watermark High Crown (M. 20), a very fine, rich and tonal Meder a impression, trimmed on or just inside the platemark, retaining a fillet of blank paper outside the borderline below and in places elsewhere, a small red crayon mark in the scrolls at right, a few small thin spots, otherwise in very good condition.

Attempts to identify this coat of arms and link it to a particular family have failed and so we assume it is an invention, although its various elements, the shield with the rampant lion, the helmet, the scrollwork and the cock do comply with the heraldic tradition. Dürer may have created it in order to attract commissions for similar designs. The scrollwork and the shining helmet also gave him the opportunity to display his technical skills as an engraver, shown to even greater effect in Coat of Arms with a Skull (see Lot 24).

Count Antoine Seilern (1901-1978), Surrey and London (not in Lugt and without mark), Christie's, London, Albrecht Dürer - Prints from the Collection of the Late Count Antoine Seilern, 8 July 1998, lot 24 (£11,000).

About Albrecht Dürer

Considered one of the foremost artists of the Renaissance period, Albrecht Dürer’s extensive work in printmaking transformed the categorization of the medium from craft to fine art. Often depicting religious subjects, Dürer’s woodcuts and engravings demonstrated unprecedented technical skill, tonal variation, and compositional sophistication. Dürer theorized extensively on linear perspective and anatomical proportion, concerns that were articulated in a vast body of written work as well as in his paintings and prints. Dürer’s skill earned him the role of court artist for Holy Roman Emperors Maximilian I and Charles V, under whom he created a number of paintings and altarpieces. Dürer’s series of self-portraits, created throughout his career, represent some of his most iconic works.

German, 1471-1528, Nuremberg, Germany, based in Nuremberg, Germany

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2016
Chefs-d’oeuvre de Budapest, Musée du Luxembourg, Paris
2015
The Sultan's World: The Ottoman Orient in Renaissance Art, Centre for Fine Arts (BOZAR), Brussels
2012
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