Crab, inkwell opening on the back with a hinge.
Early 16th century.
This sculpture is a good exemple of the evolution of the animals representations during the italian Renaissance. During the 16th century, north italian studios, such as Andrea Riccio or Savero da Ravenna's, began to take the animal figure as the main subject of their work of art. Different animals were represented alone even through they have always been considered as secondary subjects.
In the case of our crab, it was molded directly on the animal, ensuring strict anatomical accuracy.
A similar model, with a slightly different position, cast on the same crab, is exhibited in the Kunsthistorisches museum in Vienna under the inventory number 5902.