Coat of Arms with Lion and a Cock

Albrecht Dürer

Coat of Arms with Lion and a Cock



7 5/16 x 4 5/8 inches

rare early proof

Harris Schrank Fine Prints

New York , NY


$12,000 - $35,000

More Information

Albrecht Durer (1471-1528), Coat of Arms with Lion and a Cock, engraving, c. 1502-3, 7 5/16 x 4 5/8 inches. With the monogram; no date, with border lines. Meder 97, Hollstein 97. In excellent condition, trimmed outside of the borderline all around. Provenance: Sir Philip Burne-Jones (not in Lugt, pencil inscription verso) Thomas Miller Whitehead (his ink stamp verso, Lugt 2449) Colnaghi, London (with their stock number C 23526 verso) A fine Meder a impression, with the small horizontal scratches lower left as called for by Meder for the a impressions. The heraldic symbols in this coat of arms are not associated with any specific aristocratic family; indeed, the elevation of the rooster, a common barnyard bird, perched commandingly with outspread wings at the top of the sheet, well above the stylized lion trapped on its heraldic shield, might be seen as a very conscious subversion of aristocratic pretentions. This carnivalesque inversion of social convention is also evident in Dürer's related adopiton of coats of arms and other aristocratic imagery by thre emergin middle classes, including artisans, from the late Middle Ages. In Coat of Arms with a Lion and a Cock the lavish scrollwork twisting behind the shield, with elaborate shading creating almost three-dimensional effects, reminds us that the artist originally trained as a goldsmith, the craft in which the tradition of pure ornamential engraving on metal is thought to have originated. (I am indebted to Catherine Bindman for these insightful notes - HS.)