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Fine Art Sale Lot 222


ANTWERP. A PAIR OF NETHERLANDISH SILVER ARMORIAL ALTAR CANDLESTICKS the leafy baluster with compressed upper and ovoid lower knops with cherubs' heads in almost full relief between chased wings and festoons, on stepped triangular base, each of the concave sides with repousse oval medallion of the sacred monogram IHS, MR (conjoined) of the Queen of Heaven and arms, the last separately worked and let in between acanthus clad, boldly scrolling volutes, on three cast paw and ball feet, steel pricket, 41cm h, Antwerp, probably 1625-6, 44ozsProvenance: The arms are those of Goubau.These Baroque altar candlesticks would have been commissioned, possibly as part of a larger service of communion plate for the domestic chapel of one of the houses of the important family of Antwerp merchants, the Goubau. Their residences included den Wolsack in Antwerp and Cortewalle and Ten Dorpe Castles in the country.By the early 17th century, through trade and intermarriage with other leading families, their wealth and civic status was enhanced still further when in 1633 they were elevated to the nobility by Philip IV of Spain (1605-1665). The widow of Alexander-Jean I Goubau (1545-1614) commissioned Rubens' Virgin and Child (1608-1621)as an ex-voto for the Masons Chapel of Antwerp Cathedral, where the couple are buried. Given the date of 1625-6 the candlesticks were presumably ordered by a son of this marriage, presumably Joannes III Goubau or one of his sons, Alexander III or Francois. The former was Burgemeester of Antwerp four times between 1649 and 1666. An interest in the fine and applied arts that extended over at least four generations of the family is manifest in gifts made to the church at Dendermonde and nearby Mespelare, both of which are notable for their rich array of altar plate. The artist Anton Goubau (1616-1698) was associated with the Dutch and Flemish Baroque painters working in Rome. He was Master of the Guild of St Luke in 1637.Later in the century A son of Alexander IV Goubau was to marry a granddaughter of Rubens' son, Nicolaes.

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