Thursday, January 16, 2014

Rebecca at the Well

Lot 409 Bonhams January 2014 Oak Interiors Sale
Rebecca at the Well.  This subject is known very well by those students in the Cabinet of Curiosities course!  It is one of the top two biblical stories found on embroidered caskets.  The story line fits well with moral teachings of the period but it is also a story of a strong woman, a good role model.  The scenes from the story also fit well on the number of faces found on a cabinet.  That is something we all learn in the course; that the geometry sometimes influences the propensity of a certain story or allegorical construct to show up on that object class.  For pieces of four-fold symmetry it is hard to put a story with 10 scenes, as example.

In the case of this piece, being sold by Bonhams this month, it was obviously a panel for or removed from a casket.  The frieze (lid?) which was below this (I think a front) is place below in the frame.  The scene where Rebecca gives Eliezer the water from the well is most often found on top as it is the climax of the storyline but sometimes shows up as the front.

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