Mysteries

The following are images of works I have been unable to identify or for which critical details are lacking. If you can provide any information or suggestions concerning their date, provenance, artist or whereabouts please let me know.

  • Monkey Band, 7 porcelain figurines, variously 9.5-15 cm high, ? artist (German). San Francisco: Butterfields, 9 April 1988, Lot 197. Ref. Website: Artfact (2004). Including the conductor, the musicians playing the cello, French horn, military drum, mandolin, recorder and another, brightly painted costumes and hats, gilt-decorated bases.
  • [Classical Group], porcelain figurine, 19.7 cm high, ? artist (German). San Francisco: Butterfields, Furniture and Decorative Arts including Silver, Japanese Prints & Paintings, Carpets & Rugs, 16 February 1988, Lot 3822. Ref. Website: Artfact 2004. A classically draped woman seated by a tree playing a recorder beside two putti, one playing the flute, the other holding a book of music, in tones of pink, blue, and green (losses to tree, restoration), underglaze blue cancelled crossed swords.
  • Shepherd and his Flock (19th century), Meissen porcelain figurine, 20 cm high, ? artist (German). New York: Christies, Nineteeth Century Furniture, Sculpture and Ceramics, 31 May 2000, Lot 328. Ref. Website: Artfact (2004). Blue crossed swords mark, incised 1359, impressed 121, and painter’s 24. A shepherd is leaning on a tree playing a recorder, a goat, seven sheep and his hound at his feet.
  • [Recorder Player], porcelain figurine, ? artist (Country). Location unknown. An elegantly dressed musician holds an alto-sized pipe with a flared bell, possibly a recorder.
  • [Shepherd playing Recorder], porcelain figurine, ? artist (Country). A shepherd sits playing a duct flute (flageolet or recorder), his crook leaning over his right shoulder.
  • Quarrelling Musicians, ? woodcut, ? date, ? artist and/or provenance. San Francisco: Achenbach Foundation for Graphic Arts, 1963.30.21507. A group of musicians seem to be quarreling; one on his hands and knees is picking up the pieces of his broken ? fiddle; another walks away from the group playing a long pipe with a flared bell (probably a shawm rather than a duct flute, given the presence of a reed and the tuning hole near the foot).
  • Rural Scene, ? woodcut, ? date, ? artist and/or provenance. San Francisco: Achenbach Foundation for Graphic Arts, 1963.30.21506. In front of a farmhouse with cattle and corn growing, a monk listens to a man in a cape playing a pipe with a flared bell (shawm or duct flute), possibly a recorder. Several finger holes are visible under the player’s uppermost (left) hand, and two beneath the right hand; the wall of the bell is shown as being very thick, and thus rather more like a recorder than a shawm.
  • [Dancers] ? woodcut, ? date, ? artist and/or provenance. San Francisco: Achenbach Foundation for Graphic Arts, 1963.30.21484. Indoors, five men dance in a circle; a priest and a finely dressed woman have fallen to the floor. Music is provided by a standing musician playing a flared-bell pipe (shawm or duct flute, possibly a recorder).
  • Trapped Hunter, ? woodcut, ? date, ? artist and/or provenance. San Francisco: Achenbach Foundation for Graphic Arts, 1963.30.21496. A hunter caught in a bramble bush greets a lad walking by who plays a broadly flared pipe (shawm or duct flute, possibly a recorder). The hunter’s bow lies in front of him, on the ground.
  • Feast of Fools, ? woodcut, ? date, ? artist and/or provenance. San Francisco: Achenbach Foundation for Graphic Arts, 1963.30.21502. This woodcut appears to depict the Feast of Fools, the medieval successor to the Roman Saturnalia. Outdoors, a crowd of people are dancing or playing games to music provided by a standing musician playing a flared-bell pipe (shawm or duct flute, possibly recorder). In the foreground two men dressed as monks on all fours are ridden by partly naked women. The monk in the lead seems to have had beans for breakfast!
  • Dancers Before a Tavern ? woodcut, ? date, ? artist and/or provenance. San Francisco: Achenbach Foundation for Graphic Arts, 1963.30.21455. In front of a building (? tavern) a man and two women dance to music provided by a musician standing in the doorway playing a pipe with a flared bell (shawm or duct flute, possibly a recorder). The woman dancing holds a rake; the other holds a tankard.
  • The Dancing Dog ? woodcut, ? date, ? artist and/or provenance. San Francisco: Achenbach Foundation for Graphic Arts, 1963.30.21451. In the background, a man rides astride a donkey, his arms in the air, and a child is held up to watch. In the foreground a dog dances on its hind legs to music provided by a man playing a pipe with a flared bell (shawm or duct flute, possibly a recorder).
  • Boy with a Recorder, black chalk, 17.9 × 17.9 cm, ? Italian. London: Christie’s, Sale 7596, British and Continental Watercolours and Drawings, 21 May 1997, Lot 48. Sold with an unframed pen and ink drawing of Moses. No image in online archive.
  • Boy with a Recorder (20th century), charcoal on paper, English. Location unknown. Ref. Walter Bergmann ex Anthony Rowland-Jones (pers. comm., 2003). A young boy plays a neo-baroque recorder, only the head and upper body of which can be seen. The work is signed, but illegibly so: it reads something like ‘Youil Ferrony’.
  • [Saint Cecilia], ? woodcut, ? date, ? artist and/or provenance. Ref. American Recorder Society Card ex Walter Bergmann ex Anthony Rowland-Jones (pers. comm., 2005); American Recorder Society Newsletter 33: masthead. This medieval or mock-medieval illustration appeared on a small blue ARS card entitled THE AMERICAN RECORDER SOCIETY / Musical Direction: ERICH KATZ / CONCERT, presumably an invitation of to the ARS Concert which took place at Carnegie Recital Hall in New York City on Sunday, 25 May 1958 (AMS Newsletter, loc. cit.) Erich Katz (1900–1973) was a German-born musicologist, composer, music critic, musician and professor. Katz fled the Nazis in 1939, arriving first in England, emigrating to the United States in 1943, where he became a naturalised citizen. He was a driving force behind the early music and recorder movements in the United States, serving as an early president of The American Recorder Society (founded by Suzanne Bloch in 1939). His students include recorder players LaNoue Davenport and Bernard Krainis.
  • ? Title (15th century), ? illumination, ? Provenance. Ref. Website: Lute Iconography LI-1903 (2021, col.) Angel Musicians play lute and long cylindrical recorder, the beak clearly visible and the hands and fingers well deployed for recorder playing.
  • ? Title, (16th century), woodcut, ? artist (German). ? Location. Ref. Rowland-Jones (2001a: fig. 8). Mercury (his sword at his side, his caduceus in his left hand), plays a long tapering pipe in his right hand to two merchants standing in front of their sacks. Between Mercury’s legs is the severed heard of Argus with its many eyes; in front of him is a cockerel, symbol of watchfulness. Beside the merchants, a thief holds a purse in one hand and a curved knife in the other, reminding us that Mercury was not only the god of merchants but also of pickpockets.
  • ? Title (1501), pamphlet, woodcut, ? artist and/or provenance. ? Location. Ref. Kinsky et al. 1930: 97); Peter (1958: 44). “… contains a morning song. It is prefaced by a woodcut showing two boys singing, a recorder player, a lutenist and a musician playing a trumpet” (Peter, loc. cit.)
  • Sirens (? 16th century), ? artist and/or provenance. Collection René Clemencic. Ref. Clemencic (1968: 7: fig. 2). Depicts the Sirens luring ships ashore. One siren standing in the water plays a flared bell duct flute the window/labium of which is clearly shown.
  • [Flutemakers] (? 16th century), woodcut, ? artist and/or provenance. ? Location. Ref. Early Music 7(3): 359 (b&w). Two craftsman work at a bench under a tree making flared-bell recorders, one 1-piece, the other 2-piece. The off-centre hole for the lowermost finger is clearly depicted in the latter.
  • Oliphant, carved ivory, ? artist and/or provenance. ? Location. Detail. An oliphant carved with musical wind instruments, including flute, cornetto, shawm and a flageolet with four finger holes and two holes on the lower side.
  • The Duke of Burgundy and his Court Chasing Birds (17th century), after a late 15th-century miniature, Anonymous (French, Versailles). ? Location. ? References.
  • ? Title (? 17th century), ? medium, ? artist and/or provenance. ? Location. Ref. Record Cover: English Recorder Music, EMI Digital LP 27 0404 1. A female singer is accompanied by musicians playing violin, lute, viol and a young boy playing a small cylindrical duct flute (probably a recorder since the thumb position is shown in profile), only the upper part of which is visible.
  • Trophy (? 17th century), ? print, ? artist and/or provenance. ? Location. Ref. CD Catalogue: Dorchester, Dorset (Summer 2001: 2, fig.); Anthony Rowland-Jones (pers. comm., 2001). An open music score with lute, violin, trumpets and/or shawms and a baroque-style recorder with its characteristically curved beak and turnings.
  • [Portrait of a Man with a Recorder] (?17th century), painting, ?artist (Flemish or Dutch). Berwyn: Pennsylvania Art Conservatory. Ref. Kate Deckman (pers. comm., 2014, col.) A man with a mustache and wearing a turban holds a perfectly depicted one-piece, renaissance-style recorder, left hand uppermost. The little finger of his lowermost hand is shown half-closing its hole.
  • Decorated ?title page (ca 1720-1730), engraving, ? German. The Hague: Gemeentemuseum. Ref. Anthony Rowland-Jones (pers. comm., 2001). The Gemeentemuseum have no documentation whatsoever for this remarkable engraving, presumably intended as a title-page. In a spacious concert hall or church an orchestra is playing. At the back is a pipe organ (the shutters of which are painted with the usual Annunciation scene) flanked by two sets of tympani (on the right) and a harpsichord (on the left). At the front right are four trombonists and six trumpeters. In the middle are a children’s choir, a group of vocal soloists (amongst whom stands the conductor), and a band of violinists. At the front left are two double-bassists, four flautists, and four recorder players with alto instruments of the period. It is doubtful if such forces could be raised anywhere other than Dresden or possibly Leipzig, but it is probably wishful thinking.
  • [Shepherdess] (? date), porcelain figure, ? artist and/or provenance. ? Location. Ref. Early Music 15 (4): 567 (1987). A girl plays a baroque-style recorder with one hand holding an apron full of apples with the other, a lamb at her feet.
  • ? Title, engraving, artist and/or provenance. ? Location. Ref. Hunt (1968: 244). Depicts a chamber ensemble comprising a male singer accompanied by recorder, flute, bassoon and harpsichord players.
  • Portrait of a Musician, (ca 1705), painting, artist & provenance unknown. Haslemere: Dolmetsch Musical Instruments. Ref. Bergmann (1966: 85); Oler (1966: 85); Tibia (3/1994: front cover – col.); Recorder & Music Magazine 2(2): front cover – b&w (1966); Lasocki (1977: 28-55); Postcard: Dolmetsch Musical Instruments. Recorder Magazine 21(3): front cover (col.); Website: Wikimedia Commons (2016, col.); Vichy Enchères (2021, col.) Shows what appears to be a baroque voice flute (tenor recorder in d’) with ivory mounts held in the right hand of a wigged male musician, once thought to have been the German composer Johann Christian Schickhardt (1682-1762). Later, Carl Dolmetsch (1971, cited by Lasocki 1977: 36) wrote that the portrait was auctioned by Sotheby’s in London in 1954, and that the identity of the recorder player depicted was supplied by the firm at that time, but that  he now believed it to be the composer Jean-Baptiste Loeillet (1680-1730), probably by the marine painter Robert Woodcock (1690-1728). More recently, it has been suggested that this portrait depicts the English musician and composer William Babell (1690-1723) –  see IMSLP (2015), Wikimedia Commons (2016) & Vichy Enchères (2021).  However, the sitter looks rather older than 15; and although the red book the subject holds is titled Corelli’s Solos for the Flute (at that time meaning the recorder), none of the suspects is known to have made arrangements of these works for the ‘flute’.
  • Musicalischer Zeit-Vertreib welchen man sich bey vergoenten Stunden, auf dem beliebten Clavier, durch Singen und Spielen auserlesener Oden. (1750), Title Page, engraving, German. Offered for sale in 2012 by Musikantiquariat Hans Schneider, Tutzing, Katalog Nr. 462 (2012). Ref.  Clemencic (1968: frontispiece – b&w). A collection of pieces in three parts for domestic music-making with clavier, violin or flute, and voice. A decoration on the title page depicts a clavichord above which is a rococo garland with musical instruments – flute, lute, violin and a baroque turned, three-piece alto recorder.
  • Itinerant Musician (? 18th century), ? pen & ink, ? artist (English). ? Location. Ref. Weir (1981: 5 – b&w). An old man sitting on a wall leans on his stick and plays a small flared pipe (possibly a recorder, since all the fingers of the lower hand are covering holes).
  • Still-life (? 18th century), medium, ? artist and/or provenance. ? Location. Ref. CD Cover: Pierre Gautier de Marseille: Symphonies, Astreée Auvidis CD [DDD] E 8637. A lute, a violin and a baroque recorder with ivory beak and mounts lie scattered on a table.
  • [Portrait of a Musician] (? 18th century), painting, ? artist and/or provenance. Location. Ref. Walter Bergmann, Slide Collection WB50 (ex Anthony Rowland-Jones, pers. comm. 2003 – b&w). A young musician poses with his right hand in his jacket; his left, leaning against a small table, holds a furled music manuscript. Further along the table, an alto baroque recorder (the head hidden) lies on top of a legible sheet of music.
  • [Still-life] (? date), painting, ? provenance, ? artist. Ref. CD Cover: Bach Cello Suites, Marion Verbruggen, Harmonia Mundi HMU907260 (2000 – col.) Includes a bowl of fruit on a table with an open book of music and a small baroque-style flageolet or recorder with an unusually prominent beak.
  • [Recorder Player wearing a Turban] (? date), stone relief, ? provenance, ? artist. A man wearing a turban-like hat and jerkin with crenulate sleeves plays a flared recorder, the window/labium and fingering clearly depicted.
  • [Masque] (? date), print, ? provenance, ? artist. Seven female figures dance on stage. Three hold masks; one holds a club; another holds a small conical pipe at the top of which the hint of a window/labium can be seen. In front of the stage musicians play harpsichord, violin, lute and a larger flared pipe. The disposition of the player’s fingers and thumb on the latter is very suggestive of a recorder.
  • Hitler Youth Girls (early 20th century), newspaper clipping, German. Ref. Possibly from Walter Bergmann’s Collection (b&w). Two girls in Hitler Youth uniform play neo-baroque recorders of soprano and alto size.
  • [Pin-up Girl with a Recorder] (early 20th century), photograph, German. Ref. Photograph 100, from Walter Bergmann’s Collection (b&w). A 20th-century pin-up girl leans against a classical-style sculpture of a man holding a conical pipe in playing position. She holds an alto neo-baroque recorder, copying his fingering. Sad to say, she is holding the instrument upside down!
  • Recorder Player (?19th century) photomechanical colour print of a painting on textured, cream-toned paper, 35 × 24 cm, ?artist, ?date. Cleveland, Ohio: Peter Keisogloff Rare Books, Inv. # ABE-206275059 (2021, col.) “Features a young musician in 17th century Dutch-style dress, seated at a table, while holding a recorder & studying a sheet of music, two enraptured young girls sit nearby, table features a tablecloth & beaker of water, background with village, trees. Artist not identified, but most likely 19th century. Scan shows the central part of image, but not the entire piece” (Keisogloff, loc. cit.) The recorder is very clearly depicted and is an alto or tenor of baroque design. To my mind this appears to be a 19th-century representation of early Colonial settlers in America. I have been unable to locate its source.
  • Musical Angels (? date), ? medium, ? artist. ? Location. Ref. Website: Lute Iconography LI-1903 (2022, col.) Musical angels play a lute and a tenor-sized narrowly conical duct-flute, right hand uppermost. The characteristic beak is clearly depicted, and this appears to be a recorder.