Item ref: 3268
Private collection, France
These two coats-of-arms are arranged in conjunction to solidly record the marriage of two families; historically a similar arrangement was also used to record other forms of political alliance. The right-hand shield (viewed as the left-hand) is that of the husband, in this instance a member of the Schoeff family, prominent citizens of Amsterdam; those of his wife’s family, on the oval, are yet to be identified. The arms are suspended from an openwork ribbon tied with a symbolic bow and terminating in a pair of knotted tassels typical of the period. The superbly delicate and lifelike quality of the carving denotes this work as an expensive commission. Strangely the scroll carried above the arms is vacant, it presumably would have been intended to carry some form of inscription relating to each of the families.