• Public Gallery  • Help  
• Join Now!  • Log In  • Feature Tour
 Cathy Gordon | Home > 
Reinhold Vasters Pendant?
This album covers research being done to ascertain whether this is a pendant made by Reinhold Vasters, as well as whether the (mostly) matching pendant from two Parke Bernet auctions is the same pendant or a "twin."

In the 1820s Renaissance jewelry, long out of fashion, became popular among the European elite. Some genuine pieces had survived, but the limited supply of genuine Renaissance jewelry could not keep up with 19th century demand.

A great write-up on Reinhold Vasters and his possible connection to the jeweler Alfred André (1839-1919) and the brilliant dealer, Frédéric Spitzer (1815-90) is in the Christie's catalog for the Collection of the late Baroness Batsheva de Rothschild 14 December 2000  at http://www.christies.com/LotFinder/lot_details.aspx?intObjectID=1938943

Some partial text:

In the last thirty years or so, jewelry and silver historians have begun to realise the sheer number of pieces made in the latter part of the 19th Century in the Renaissance style. The discovery, in the Victoria and Albert Museum library, of some 1,000 designs for jewelry and the mountings of hardstone by the goldsmith, Reinhold Vasters of Aachen, has revolutionised our thinking on the subject. Work by Charles Truman and Dr Yvonne Hackenbroch on Vasters and, more recently, by Rudolf Distelberger on the Parisian jeweller, Alfred André, have to some extent clarified the picture. However, the links between these two craftsmen, their workshops and the collector and dealer in Paris, Frédéric Spitzer, remain somewhat obscure.

Reinhold Vasters (1827-1909) was born near Aachen and entered his mark as a goldsmith in that city in 1853. He was very shortly thereafter appointed restorer at the Aachen Cathedral Treasury. His early work seems to have concentrated on church silver which he marked, very straight-forwardly, R. VASTERS in a rectangular punch (3). In addition there are two recorded Renaissance style jewels from this period which bear an RV conjoined mark struck on a small applied plaque on the reverse, which are almost certainly by him (4). By the late 1860s he seems to have given up making new church silver and turned to working mainly on unmarked secular pieces in the Gothic and Renaissance style. It is particularly interesting that, in 1865, the Cathedral authorities ordered an early 16th Century pax in the Treasury to be altered to a clasp. According to Stephen Beissel, writing in 1909, a dozen or so copies were made at that time one of which found its way into the collection of Frédéric Spitzer in Paris (5). The supposition must be that Vasters was responsible for making these clasps. The designs for the whole, or part, of at least twenty other pieces in the Spitzer collection are found among the Vasters' drawings (6).

From this period on, Vasters seems to have become increasingly wealthy and by 1880 was publicly exhibiting works of art from his personal collection. Indeed the 1902 Dusseldorf exhibition, 'Kunsthistorische Ausstellung', included no less than 500 pieces owned by Vasters. As Edmund Renard observed at the time of the exhibition 'Among the smaller private collections that of the Aachen goldsmith Reinhold Vasters offers a highly characteristic picture - throughout one notes the specialist and technician. Several decades of cooperation with the greatest genius among nineteenth-century collectors, Spitzer has had a distinct influence on the formation of the collection.' (7). Predictably the highlights of Vasters' collection included mounted Milanese rock crystal and enamelled jewels.
Album by Cathy Gordon. 1 - 19 of 19 Total. 13517 Visits.
 Email a Comment
 Your Comment is
 immediately emailed
 to the album owner
Name:   Enter your comment
  
Email: 
Subject: 
Start SlideshowSelect images and click to download to your computer 
Enlarge photo 1
1
Full pendant showing the cameo-cut side with the white sapphire and the single set ruby on the altar.  (This is my pendant.  Use it for comparison to the auction catalog pages. Note specifically the single inset stone).

Description:
The obverse carnelian plaque is carved in relief with a female figure nude from the waist standing by an altar and looking up to a sunburst, a ribbon issuing from her mouth enclosing the inscription: MAGNI SPES ALTERA REGNI and, on the other side of the altar, a winged cherub holding a heart-shaped white sapphire engraved with bees and the inscription PLEBIS AMOR REGIS CUSTODIA  ("the love of his people is the safeguard of the king."); the altar set with a table-cut ruby.


Enlarge photo 2
2

Enlarge photo 3
3
Note that my pendant is missing the two side stones shown in the photos in the Walters and Gutman auctions.

Enlarge photo 4
4
Parke Bernet auction, Collection of Mrs. Henry Walters, May 1st, 1941, pg 328.  Shows pendant lot 1118 -- note the 3 small stones on the horizontal through the altar.  The rift, referred to in the description, starts on the left directly under the small stone and travels diagonally to the right below the white sapphire to the edge of the stone halfway between the two larger pearls.

Enlarge photo 5
5
Pg 329 of Parke Bernet catalogue with description of pendant, including note of a "diagonal rift (which has been repaired at an early date with three tiny gold rivets, the rivets disguised by a ruby, an emerald, and a diamond)."

Enlarge photo 6
6
Parke Bernet auction, The Melvin Gutman Jewelry Part II, pg 19, Oct 17, 1969.  I believe this is the same pendant as that sold in the Walters auction in 1941.  Note the description does not mention a rift or repair.

Here is the description as the page is difficult to read:

Auction listing from Parke Bernet Galleries, The Melvin Gutman Jewelry Part II, October 17, 1969, pg 19.

A Very Fine Devotional Pendant
Second Half of 16th Century

Composed of two oval carnelian plaques, the obverse carved in relief with a female figure nude from the waist standing by an altar and looking up to a sunburst, a ribbon issuing from her mouth enclosing the inscription: MAGNI SPES ALTERA REGNI and, on the other side of the altar, a winged cherub holding a heart-shaped white sapphire engraved with bees and the inscription PLEBIS AMOR REGIS CUSTODIA  ("the love of his people is the safeguard of the king."); the altar set with a table-cut ruby, to the left a diamo...


Enlarge photo 7
7
A rock crystal, verre eglomisé, enamel, gold reliquary in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, NYC

Attributed to Reinhold Vasters

Height 11 3/8 inches (28.9 cm)

(c) 2011 Metropolitan Museum of Art

The rock crystal frame, the enameled border and possibly the gold findings are the same as my pendant.


Enlarge photo 8
8
(c) 2011 Metropolitan Museum of Art

Enlarge photo 9
9
(c) 2011 Metropolitan Museum of Art

Enlarge photo 10
10
(c) 2011 Metropolitan Museum of Art

Enlarge photo 11
11
Both plaques set in a rock crystal frame surrounded by twisted wire and pearl-threaded borders interrupted by four enamelled gold openwork clasps with pin-set pearls; with a pearl drop below and suspension ring above; the jewel attached by four chains with alternate links of enamelled and undecorated gold hanging from a cross-shaped suspension member enamelled red, white and blue with pendant pearl drop.

Height 7 1/4 inches


Enlarge photo 12
12

Enlarge photo 13
13
Carnelian dimensions:

Height: 59 mm, 2.32 in.
Width: 45.2 mm, 1.78 in.


Enlarge photo 14
14
Side view showing rock crystal frame and enamel work.  

Width at edge 17.1 mm, .675 in.


Enlarge photo 15
15
Reverse carnelian.

Description:

The reverse carved intaglio with the Virgin and Child and St. John the Baptist and a cartella inscribed E(cce A(gnus) D(ei).


Enlarge photo 16
16

Enlarge photo 17
17

Enlarge photo 18
18

Enlarge photo 19
19

 
 Select All.  
 
Album Properties. Email Album. Send Invitation. Add to Website. Share URL