TEFAF Maastricht 2019: Helga Matzke Highlights in Antique Silver

The preparations for TEFAF Maastricht (March 16-24, 2019) are in full swing. We do hope to welcome you at our booth, number 165.

On this occasion, we would like to personally present you, our objects and reserve sufficient time for a comprehensive discussion. Thus, we would like to kindly ask you to arrange an appointment with us, and suggest the day you plan to visit.

Antique Silver Highlights at Helga Matzke

This year, we are very excited to bring a particularly devotional sculpture to the fair. This silver, partly gilt, small-format sculpture, is a group of two figures depicting the Virgin Mary and Christ, representing the theme of Lamentation. The term Lamentation is used to denote the last farewell of the Mother of God between the moment of deposition off the cross and the burial of Christ. When the individual phases of the Passion are distributed according to the times of the day, the events mentioned above fall into the “vespers” (in the late afternoon) of Good Friday, hence the name. The lamentation presents a closed group of two figures: Virgin Mary holding the body of Christ on her lap. In Southern Germany, artists have intensively worked on this theme coming from the mystical literature. Artistic representation of pain, suffering and death, but also ideal body shape and hope of salvation are inseparably connected with the Lamentation.

Abraham II Lotter, the maker of this Lamentation group, was very familiar with the genre of the altars and the other sculptural works like silver nativity scenes. An almost identical representation of Pieta by Lotter can be found in the upper level of the richly decorated and architectural home altar of Maria Loreto in Prague. The Prague home altar was donated by Countess Benigna Catharina of Lobkowitz in 1626 and the silver works were made by Abraham II Lotter. Moreover, a silver nativity scene of Abraham II Lotter belonged in the collections of the Bavarian National Museum but was stolen at the World Exhibition in Montreal in 1967. The figurative execution of it as well corresponds to that of the home altar of Loreta in Prague. The present Lamentation sculptural group and the stolen silver nativity scene correspond thus both to the representations of the same respective themes used in the Loreta home altar (s. also Seling, figs. 52 and 53).