Skip to main content
  • Want more images or videos?
    Request additional images or videos from the seller
1 of 11

Enamel Gold and Rock Crystal Figure of Emperor Maximilian I by Reinhold Vasters

$250,000

About

A rare enamel, gold and rock crystal figure of Emperor Maximilian I by Reinhold Vasters, Aachen, In the Renaissance style, circa 1870. The gold figure in bright enameled priestly clothing, wearing the Habsburg imperial crown, with orb and scepter on his enameled hands, standing on a rock crystal base. The rock crystal base marked: "Maximilianus I. MCCCCXCIII" [1493] Apparently unmarked Measures: Height 9.5 in high A true museum masterpiece. A rare opportunity to own this wonderful object. Literature: Miriam Krautwurst, Reinholt Vasters: Ein nederrheinischer Goldschmied des 19. Jahrhunderts in der Tradition alter Meister. Sein Zeichnungskonvolut im Victoria and Albert Museum, Trier (University doctoral thesis), 2003 About Reinhold Vasters: Vasters was the son of a locksmith, and in 1853 entered his maker’s mark as a goldsmith in Aachen, near his birthplace. The same year he was appointed restorer to the Aachen Cathedral treasury, and became known as a maker of church plate in gothic style. However, it was his work in the Renaissance style which brought him prosperity, and later notoriety. In association with the Vienna-born Paris dealer Frédéric Spitzer, he enhanced incomplete or damaged early works of art, or created them whole-cloth based on early examples. Spitzer sold these on to the major collectors of the 1870s and 1880s, particularly members of the Rothschild family. After Spitzer’s death in 1890, his collection (including remaining stock) was luxuriously published then dispersed by auction, with many pieces finding their way to American collectors such as J.P. Morgan, Benjamin Altman, and Henry Walters. Long accepted as antiques, Vasters’ works have been recently identified through a group of drawings preserved at the Victoria and Albert Museum. Sold at Vasters posthumous sale in Aachen in 1909, they were given to the V&A in 1919. From these, many Vasters’creations, probably in association with Spitzer and the goldsmith Alfred André, have been identified, including thirty pieces in the Metropolitan Museum (Yvonne Hackenbroch, “Reinhold Vasters, Goldsmith” Metropolitan Museum of Art Journal 19/20 (1986), p. 164). From his beginnings at the Cathedral Treasury, repairing and reworking genuine ancient items was one of Vasters’ specialties. Contemporary accounts credited Spitzer with persuading clergy to sell him old liturgical items cheaply, because of damage and wear, while offering to replace them with new creations in “historical” styles that would better suit contemporary religious practice (ibid. p. 169). When Vasters loaned almost 500 pieces from his own collection to a Kunsthistorische Ausstellung in Düsseldorf in 1902, the group included fractured rock crystal vessels and orphan lids and pedestals. These suggest less a finished “collection” than the contents of a workshop, the antique raw material around which to create a finished complete item for Spitzer's clientele. Ms. Hackenbroch’s study of Vasters’ work distinguishes between “gold-mounted rock crystals of sixteenth and seventeenth-century origin” and those of nineteenth-century origin, and this divide is echoed in the character of the V&A drawings; there are fewer whole designs than there are small, exquisitely rendered details, suggesting enhancements to existing forms. The drawings associated with the offered lot are a case in point. First published by Miriam Krautwurst in her 2003 doctoral thesis, these beautifully colored designs show the attributes held by each figure, and designs for the two patterns of wings. The figures, whose origins will be considered in the next section, were the sort of fragments with which Spitzer and Vasters excelled. Their poses required pedestals; they were supplied in richly colored lapis lazuli, enhanced by enameled gold moldings. Their open and outstretched hands required objects; rather than the religious emblems that they probably originally held, a secular program was developed – perhaps to better appeal to non-Catholic or Jewish collectors.

Details

Shipping & Returns

  • Shipping
    Rates vary by destination and complexity.
    Ships From: New York, NY
  • Return Policy

    This item cannot be returned.

1stDibs Buyer Protection Guaranteed
If your item arrives not as described, we’ll work with you and the seller to make it right. Learn more
About the Seller
5 / 5
Located in New York, NY
Vetted Seller
These experienced sellers undergo a comprehensive evaluation by our team of in-house experts.
Established in 1980
1stDibs seller since 2016
46 sales on 1stDibs
Typical response time: <1 hour
More From This Seller

You May Also Like

Fabergé Style Holly Sprig Model with Gold and Rock Crystal
By Fabergé
Located in London, GB
This model of a spray of holly is designed about the artistic conceit of the trompe l’oeil, or that which fools the eye. The stem of the spray rests in a rock crystal vase, the idea ...
Category

20th Century Russian Figurative Sculptures

Materials

Coral, Jade, Rock Crystal, Gold

Naturalia Rock Crystal Specimen, Italy, 1880
Located in Milan, IT
A Wunderkammer naturalia pair of rock crystals specimens octagonal shape with black wooden frames, mounted over black wooden bases, with candle holders, Italy, 1880 ca.
Category

Antique 1870s Italian Natural Specimens

Materials

Crystal, Rock Crystal, Brass

19th Century Botanical Models by Reinhold Brendel on Turned Ebonized Wood
Located in Leuven , BE
This collection of the series Puccinia graminis (Stem rust) was produced by the Brendel Company of Germany that had specialized in these models since the 1860s. The company brought t...
Category

Antique 19th Century German Models and Miniatures

Materials

Organic Material, Wood

Natural Specimen a Big Rock Crystal, Italy, 1880
Located in Milan, IT
A Naturalia mineral specimen. A big rock crystal mounted over a carved wooden base gold gilt with carved leaves, Italy, circa 1880.
Category

Antique 1870s Italian Collectible Jewelry

Materials

Crystal, Rock Crystal

Italian Renaissance Painted Lifesize Figure of Religious Scholar
Located in New York, NY
Italian Renaissance painted pine lifesize figure of religious scholar holding book,17th or 18th century.  
Category

Antique Mid-17th Century Italian Renaissance Religious Items

Materials

Pine

Bronze Figure of Game Birds
Located in Brea, CA
Late 19th-early 20th century, the birds on a breakfront base. Measures: 11.25'' H x 8.25'' W x 4.75 D.
Category

Early 20th Century American American Craftsman Models and Miniatures

Materials

Bronze

Craved Rock Crystal Figure of Venus, 20th Century
Located in Austin, TX
A beautiful carved and polished small rock crystal figure of Venus, probably Italy, carved after the antique, early to mid-20th century. The naked torso, almost certainly depictin...
Category

Mid-20th Century Italian Classical Roman Figurative Sculptures

Materials

Rock Crystal

Antique Silver and Enamel Model of a Horse Drawn Carriage
Located in London, GB
Antique silver and enamel model of a horse drawn carriage Austro-Hungarian, 20th century Measures: Set: Height 18cm, width 73cm, depth 27cm Case: Height 30.5cm, width 86cm, depth ...
Category

20th Century Austrian Models and Miniatures

Materials

Silver, Enamel

The 1stDibs Promise

Learn More

Expertly Vetted Sellers

Confidence at Checkout

Price-Match Guarantee

Exceptional Support

Buyer Protection

Insured Global Delivery