Designed as an intricate puzzle composed of fifteen interlocking parts in 18K gold, the central element revealing a stylized cabochon lapis lazuli heart. The phallus and testicles are suspended from a hinged woven gold chain, which may be worn as a ring, circa 1970.
Ring Size Hinged phallus and testicles ring size 5.5 /European size K
Stamped 750 & Berrocal
Weight 105.8 grams 18K gold
Measurements2.8x0.9x0.6 ins. (7.1x126.96.36.199 cms)
Condition In fine condition commensurate with the age of the piece. Some minor nicks, but no repairs and the pieces are all intact. The bail is secure and in good working order.
LiteratureAntologica Berrocal (1955-1984), Gallego, Opus 120
Miguel Ortiz Berrocal (1933-2006)
Spanish artist Miguel Berrocal is best known for his interactive sculptural works, which range in scale from the miniscule to the monumental, and depict abstract or figurative forms that can be assembled like puzzles. Fascinated from an early age by analytic geometry, science and drawing, Berrocal quickly turned to sculpture after his schooling. Berrocal's practice was driven by a strong personal philosophy highlighted by the desire to connect with the viewer through sculptural objects, leading to an analytical, complicated process of study and the construction of touchable works. Berrocal believed that in order to truly experience form, it must be 'observed with the hands', thus emphasizing the viewer's role in the mental and physical construction of an artwork.
Born in 1933 in Malaga, Spain, he studied mathematics and architecture at the University of Madrid and then art in Paris and Rome before settling in Negrar, a suburb of Verona. His first puzzle sculptures were made in 1959. It was also his first torso and consisted of seven pieces. He gradually moved away from large sculptures and towards smaller and more complicated ones. In 1963, he made a torso of Sampson consisting of ten pieces. In 1966, he made a torso of David consisting of twenty-three pieces. The genitals of Mini David are the "setting" of a ring. Berrocal incorporated rings and other "surprise" pieces into most of his "puzzle sculptures". For example, Mini Maria has a sub assembly of male genitalia. The penis detaches from the scrotum which then separates to reveal two testicles. An extreme example of this can be found in the Coffinetta of Romeo and Juliet. Its pieces form a complete place setting, including wine glasses and candle holders, for four people. Goliath's genitalia can be assembled with either a circumcised or uncircumcised penis and with or without a fig leaf.
Museum Collections The Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art in New York City, MoMAth The National Museum of Mathematics, also in New York City and the Hamburger Kunstalle, Hamburg all have base metal versions of the mini David in their permanent collections, to the best of my knowledge.
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