• Christies auction house James Christie logo

    Sale 7611

    Furniture, Sculpture and Carpets

    11 September 2008, London, King Street

  • Lot 30

    A NORTH ITALIAN GILTWOOD MIRROR

    VENICE, MID-18TH CENTURY

    Price Realised  

    A NORTH ITALIAN GILTWOOD MIRROR
    VENICE, MID-18TH CENTURY
    The rectangular plate within a stiff-leaf-carved surround decorated with interlaced strapwork, shaped reserves and shells to the angles, flanked by pierced S-scrolls carved with martial attributes and rockwork, and further flanked by scrolls inset with etched mirror plates depicting Cupid and a faun holding a shield and a club, headed by a C-scroll and rockwork-carved cartouche inset with an etched mirror plate depicting Ceres, surmounted by a crouching 'draco', with paper label inscribed 'ALLD' to the reverse
    78 x 62 in. (198 x 157.5 cm.)


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    The Arcadian Golden Age of Peace and Plenty and the triumph of Ceres is evoked by the harvest deitys sacred 'draco' or serpent that crowns the temple-pediment of this 'picturesque' and antique-fretted frame, which is garlanded with fruit and flowers. The Roman adage that the 'Science of Agriculture flourishes with the laying aside of arms', is recalled by trophies sculpted in the truss-scrolled 'tablet' corners. The frame is mosaiced with mirrored and engraved compartments in shell-decked and water-scalloped cartouches . Its tympanum vignette recalls 'abundance through labour', with the corn-bearing Earth deity reclined on the heros club; while Cupid sports with a club-wielding satyr at the sides.

    The pier-glass, intended to accompany a marble-topped sideboard-table, is documented as being in the Palazzo Orsini in Rome. For comparable mirrors, see G. Morazzoni, Il Mobile Veneziano del'700, Milan, 1958, vol. I, pl. CCXXXI-CCXLI.
    PALAZZO ORSINI, ROME

    Palazzo Orsini in via Monte Savello, Rome, was built by Baldassarre Peruzzi in 1523-27 for the Savelli, one of the famous mediaeval families of Rome. The palazzo, which has three wings around a small garden, is built on the ruins of the Teatro di Marcello. The Palazzo became property of the Orsini family in 1716.

    Special Notice

    No VAT will be charged on the hammer price, but VAT at 15% will be added to the buyer's premium which is invoiced on a VAT inclusive basis.


    Saleroom Notice

    The end of the description for this lot should read 'the central plate replaced, originally with further carved elements to the apron'.