A Trompe L'Oeil of Newspapers, Letters, Writing Utensils and a Comb

Oil on canvas
Signed 'Edward Collier /Schilder tot/Leyden' and Dated Twice 'Anº 1706'
66 x 53.4 cms (26 x 21 inches)

Edwaert Collier had returned to Leiden between 1702–06, but it is not clear exactly when and where this painting might have been painted: it combines a Dutch newspaper, a copy of Her Majesty's Speech in English, and a prominently positioned signature using the English form of his name, but with a Dutch epithet, in the centre of the composition. Collier repeated this arrangement, with variations in the objects, in a number of paintings that testify to considerable demand from both Dutch and English markets. One important point that perhaps sets this particular painting apart from the others however, is that in his seminal survey of Dutch painting Walter Bernt chose the present work to exemplify the type (see Literature).


Anonymous sale, London, Robinson and Fisher, 7 May 1936, lot 37;
Evelyn Reynolds;
Sale, London, Sotheby's, 16 November 1949, lot 52;
Mr Jonathan W. McCann;
Sale, New York, Christie's, 9th June 1978, lot 61;
Carl Schünemann, Bremen, by 1978;
SØR Rusche Collection


W. Bernt, Die Niederländischen Maler und Zeichner des 17. Jahrhunderts, Munich 1980, vol. I, reproduced fig. 264;
G. Langemeyer et al., Stilleben in Europa, exh. cat., 1979, p. 502, cat. no. 261, reproduced in colour p. 504;
Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, 3 January 1980, p. 17, reproduced; and 10 May 1980;
Raupp 2004, pp. 94–97, cat. no. 15, reproduced in colour;
P. Huys-Janssen and S. ten Brink, Schijn bedriegt: Trompe-l'oeil en de kunst van illusie, exh. cat., Eindhoven 2013, pp. 44, 46, reproduced in colour.


Münster, Westfälisches Landesmuseum, 25 November 1979 – 24 February 1980; Baden Baden, Kunsthalle, 13 March – 15 June 1980, Stilleben in Europa, no. 261;
's-Hertogenbosch, Het Noordbrabants Museum, Schijn bedriegt: Trompe-l'oeil en de kunst van illusie, 12 October 2013 – 26 January 2014.