For its original audience, this object’s worth lay neither in raw material nor in design, but in the monogram. Dürer’s signature was already so famous in his lifetime that its duplication by other artists was recognized as a crime (even if they were permitted to sell copies of his prints). Ironic, then, that this was made after Dürer’s death, in his style, falsely monogrammed and backdated. It was created to feed a phenomenon called the "Dürer Renaissance," when rich collectors such as Emperor Rudolf II and Duke Maximilian I of Bavaria competed to acquire the master’s works—venerating them, as one commentator noted, as if they were saintly relics.
[Elizabeth Cleland, 2017]
Inscription: On pedestal: 1509 / AD [monogram]
Birkenstock ; Brentano ; Eugen Felix (until 1886; Felix sale, Casino, Cologne, October 25, 1886, no. 884); Charles Stein , Paris ; Thomas Gibson Carmichael (until 1902; his sale, Christie, Manson and Woods, London, May 12–13, 1902, no. 19; sold to Durlacher Brothers); [ Durlacher Brothers , London and New York, until May 12, 1902; sold for £600 to Morgan ]; J. Pierpont Morgan , London and New York (1902–17; to MMA)