Oil on canvas, 20” x 24” — oval within canvas 19.1/4” x 23.1/4”, signed and dated lower left beneath the frame ‘A. Muller-Ury 1925’? In the centre a Buddha dressed in greenish robe holds a bell; to the left is a pink camelia in a small silver vase, and to the right several red camelias, some in a bowl. To the far right is a small blackish bronze of a lady seated.
Private Collection, London, UK.
Jessica Dragonette; purchased by Mrs. Josephine Butler, American ballroom dancing champion and teacher, 117, West 58th Street, New York, from Nadea Dragonette Loftus in September 1967 for $5000.00 although it was her sister’s property. Sold Tepper Galleries, 110, East 25th Street, New York, Saturday evening, August 24, 1996, Lot 1000: ‘Oriental Still Life’ (Fetched $950 [£620]). Even more oddly than the ‘Roses in a Blue Vase’ from the Butler estate this picture was merely ‘Attr. to Mueller-Uri’, presumably because no signature was visible behind the oval frame. Sold to Nicholas M. Turner on behalf of the present owner.
WILDENSTEIN & CO. INC., 19 East 64th Street, New York, April 20 – May 4, 1937, No. 50 (with the above nomenclature).
The picture was originally intended to be viewed as a whole, but at some stage, perhaps when the picture was framed for the Wildenstein exhibition in 1937, the artist painted out the camellia to the left, and darkened the table top. On removal of the frame a curved, polished and gilded table, and the reflection of the camellia to the right was revealed, indicating that the table top had been overpainted whilst inside the frame. The small bronze to the right of the picture was returned from New York in 1947 and is now in the Adolfo Muller-Ury Stiftung, Hospental, Switzerland.