Each in the form of a rhinoceros
7 in. (18 cm.) high, 814 in. (21 cm.) wide, 478 in. (12.5 cm.) deep
With Geoffrey Bennison, London, 1970s.
Anonymous sale; Bonham's, London, 25 July 2008, lot 188.
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Lot Essay

Albrecht Dürer's celebrated engraving of 1515. Dürer's print of an Indian rhinocerous is one of the most influential animal depictions in art history, leading to prolific interpretations of the animal in a multitude of mediums. It is not an entirely accurate representation of a rhinoceros, but depicts the skin almost like plates of armor, fastened by rivets and seams like an impressive piece of machinery, as can be seen in the modeling of the present lot.

In 1741, a live rhinoceros arrived to the city of Rotterdam, then travelling to Versailles in early January 1749, and to Paris where it remained from February to April 1749. Following the unveiling of the impressive animal, the marchands-merciers quickly capitalized on the mania created by the exotic animal's presence, and proceeded to supply objects au rhinoceros.

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