An architectural corbel in walnut depicting a "gaper" from a pharmacy, in the form of a Moor with a thick mustache, raised eyebrows and exaggerated ears. He is wearing a turban which is beautifully decorated with a variety of fruits (such as appels, pears, ..) and flowers. The mouth of the "gaper" is not open to yawn, but to take a medicine. The grimace of many gapers can be explained by the fact that the medicine tasted bad.
The oriental or exotic origin of the gaper symbolizes the origin of the ingredients of the medicines. There was a lot of trade with countries in Asia and Africa by Western Europeans, who discovered all kinds of spice so far unknown and took them home. There the spices were dried and sold by a chemist. The exotic origin, of which the turban testifies, probably suggests the efficacy of Eastern medicines.
A rare and museum-quality piece of early folk art with a connection to medical and pharmaceutical history !
Northern Netherlands. 17th century.
Dimensions: height (with stand) 27cm ; height (without stand) 17cm ; width 12cm ; depth 9cm
Mounted on a 19th or early 20th century bronze pedestal.
6 800 €
Price : on request
7 600 €