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Comte de Bessborough.
Duc de Marlborough, Christie's, Londres, le 26 juin 1899, lot 615 (comme Pyrrhus) pour 357 livres.
Ce lot a été acquis auprès de la Galerie J. Kugel, Paris.
This lot was purchased from Galerie J. Kugel, Paris.
Gemmarum antiquarum; ex praestantioribus desumptus quae in dactyliothecis ducis Marlburiensis conservatur (1780, 1791), II, no. 7.
Sir John Boardman, The Marlborough Gems at Blenheim Palace, Oxford, 2009 (forthcoming publication), no. 391.
Post Lot Text
A CARVED OVAL ONYX CAMEO BUST OF A BEARDED WARRIOR
His plumed helmet embossed with a crouching feline with grotesque head, his corselet and epaulette also with grotesque masks, facing to the left in profile; in an openwork oval gold frame of trailing tendrils interspersed with twelve coloured stones in oval collets
This cameo was part of the celebrated collection known as the Marlborough Gems formed by George, 4th Duke of Marlborough (1739-1817). Considered by contemporaries to be the most important private collection of cameos in existence, it consisted of approximately 800 items. One third of these came from the collection of the Gonzaga Dukes of Mantua via the Earls of Arundel, while another third came from the mid 18th century collection of Lord Bessborough. The remainder were collected by Marlborough himself, largely during his travels in Italy. The present cameo was engraved in the 18th century catalogue of the collection, and was later sold by Christie's (26 June 1899, lot 615) for £357.