Bronze monkey, sitting atop a stack of books, looking at a skull. On a giallo reale marble base. England, c.1900
12 inches tall overall x 4.75 inches wide and deep
After “Learned Monkey” by Hans Elischer.
"Spectacled monkey sitting on a pile of books meditates on the transience." Picking up the vanitas theme, monkey as a symbol of man, who pretends to be like God, has come across a riddle that he can not solve (skull). Overall, an ironic representation that even the most learned man does not get over the mystery of death and his scholarship should not be held in too high esteem.