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    Sale 7745

    Important European Furniture, Sculpture & Clocks

    9 July 2009, London, King Street

  • Lot 77

    A CARVED MARBLE AND ALABASTER BUST OF A YOUNG WOMAN

    AFTER THE ANTIQUE, THE HEAD PROBABLY ROME, 18TH CENTURY, THE SHOULDERS ROMAN, 2ND CENTURY AD

    Price Realised  

    A CARVED MARBLE AND ALABASTER BUST OF A YOUNG WOMAN
    AFTER THE ANTIQUE, THE HEAD PROBABLY ROME, 18TH CENTURY, THE SHOULDERS ROMAN, 2ND CENTURY AD
    The marble head set into egyptian alabaster shoulders; above a circular granito verde antico socle; repairs and restorations to the head and areas of the shoulders; losses
    24 5/8 in. (62.6 cm.) high, overall


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    This beautifully carved bust combines an 18th century head set into genuine antique Roman shoulders of egyptian alabaster. The 'restored' elements of the neck, lip and ears were almost certainly executed at the time the head was carved in order to make it resemble a restored antiquity. Sculptors such as Bartolomeo Cavaceppi are known to have produced such items for the buoyant trade in antique works of art purchased by Europeans on the Grand Tour, as well restoring authentic Roman items.

    Although unconfirmed by documentary evidence, there are two possible sources for the purchase of the present lot. The first is James Hamilton, 8th Earl of Abercorn (1712-1789), who is known to have done the Grand Tour when still styled Lord Paisley (see J. Ingamells, A Dictionary of British and Irish Travellers in Italy, 1701-1800, New Haven and London, 1997, p. 732). He was in Rome by 8 January 1739 and travelled from Bologna to Florence in September of the same year. A cousin of the diplomat and connoiseur Sir William Hamilton (1730-1803), it is also possible that the bust was acquired through the latter when Abercorn set about building a new neo-classical home on his Irish estate, Baronscourt, between 1779 and 1782. If not a purchase made by the 8th Earl, the other possible candidate is James Hamilton (1811-1885), created Duke of Abercorn, who remodelled Baronscourt in the 1830s and was also known to be a voracious collector of antique sculpture, paintings and bronzes.

    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.


    Provenance

    Possibly acquired by James Hamilton (1712-1789), 8th Earl of Abercorn, and by descent.


    Pre-Lot Text

    THE PROPERTY OF A NOBLEMAN