Art nouveau, Arts and crafts
For sale is this unusual painted leather repousse picture of peacocks perched in a rose tree (tree of life). The quality of the workmanship is exceptional and the paintwork is fresh and vibrant. The leather is probably from a fire screen or piece of furniture.
I do not know who made this piece, but the design reminds me very much of the work of Anna Boberg, one of Sweden’s leading turn of the century artists and designers and husband of similarly renowned architect Ferdinand Boberg. Anna worked in many media and this screen/picture is very close in style to both her peacock vase design for Rorstrand, Sweden’s leading ceramics company, and her and her husbands silver and furniture designs. There is a label to the picture’s back that is for Bukowski’s Auctioneers, Stockholm, 26th December, 2009. That said there is no record of Anna Boberg working in leather.
An alternative attribution is to Georg Hulbe (1851-1917). George Hulbe was to leather work, what Alexander Fisher was to enamels. Hulbe worked from Hamburg and was widely exhibited and lauded at the major International Exhibitions of the time. His work is in major museums across the globe, including the Met in New York. His leather was used on Tiffany furniture for Havemeyer’s Library commission and by Peter Behrens on furniture displayed at the Turin Exhibition of 1904 . Hulbe is known to have produced work using celtic symbolism, roses and peacocks as appear in this piece.
The condition of this piece is very good. Critically, and unusually, the leather and paintwork is clean, crisp and vibrant. There is no visible restoration shown under UV light. The piece has nails holding it to a board where it would have fixtures from a fire screen or furniture. There are several old nails in the upper centre part of the picture, presumably to keep the leather flat – these are not noticeable. The picture is unframed and so can be framed to any purchaser’s requirements.
Date: c 1905
Condition: See description
Size: Height 64.5 cm, width 74 cm
Weight : NM