Object Place: Europe, Low Countries
H. 5.7 cm (2 1/4 in.); W. 5.7 cm (2 1/4 in.); D. 86.68 cm (34 1/8 in.)
Medium or Technique
Angelica Lloyd Russell Gallery (Gallery 142)
Fruitwood Distaff. Carved in open work with dolphin, satyres, putti climbing between acanthus leaves, and crowned by a shepherdess holding a distaff.
When attached to a spinning wheel, a distalff holds the unspun fiber from which thread is drawn. A simple opening was sufficient to secure the mass of fiber at one end, but this distaff is beautifully carved along its whole length. The carving becomes increasingly elaborate as it rises from bottom to top, and it ends with the figure of a shephardess holding a miniature distaff.
June 9, 1934, acquired by Leopold Blumka, Vienna [see note 1]; 1965, sold by Blumka Gallery, New York, to the MFA. (Accession Date: January 13, 1965)
 According to annotations on an index card (possibly a stock card from the Blumka Gallery) in the MFA curatorial file. Leopold Blumka moved the Blumka Gallery from Vienna to New York in 1939.
Frederick Brown Fund