Offered by Seghers & Pang Fine Arts
Haute Epoque & Chinese Ceramics
The animal depicted is neither dog nor beaver: it is a wolverine also known as glutton (Latin name: gulo gulo). This is a rather big member of the family of weasels or Mustelidae and lives in cold, snowy climate and mountainous regions. The Swiss Jesuit priest Conrad Gessner (1515-1565) - considered to be the founding father of contemporary zoology - is at the origin of the myth of the glutton as he describes how the glutton would devour preys much bigger than itself and then, when the belly is full, would squeeze itself between two trees in order to force defecation so that it would be able to start eating again. In his ‘Historia Animalia’ (1551) he publishes an etching of this digesting activity of the wolverine (it was later republished in his ‘Icones Animalium’ from 1560). The resemblance with our charming panel is obvious: you can see the wolverine defecate while squeezing its body between two trees.
It is a rare and funny scene but since gluttony is one of the seven deadly sins, it is not impossible that it might also have been an allegorical warning against overconsumption of any kind.
The myth is based on false etymology: the original Swedish name of the animal ‘Fjellfrass’ (meaning ‘mountain cat’) was falsely translated in German (because of homophony) as ‘Vielfrass’ (meaning ‘eats a lot’ hence … glutton).
Dimensions: 22,5x14,4x3cm. Warm patination on the wood (walnut).
Quite unique object with both funny and interesting historical (possibly even religious) value. Ideal for any Wunderkammer.
Delevery information :
Depends upon the type of object.
For non fragile objects we offer free shipment by post to maximum cost of 40 euro at the risk of the buyer.
For fragile and/or large/heavy objects we recommend the buyer to work with a shipping company at his cost.
60 000 €
1 200 €