Grotesque little monster
Bronze, black lacquer, attributed to Arent van Bolten, c. 1610-c.
Standing at a height of 17 cm, this statue has the body of a snail,
the legs of an ostrich, a head that is birdlike yet human. The creature
stands on its high legs with open mouth. In the place of the wings,
there is the spiral wall of a snail shell, and it displays pronounced
genitals. The silversmith Arent van Bolten was fascinated by such
bizarre monsters, as is evidenced by his numerous design drawings
and prints. This statuette may have once served as an incense burner
or an oil lamp.