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    Sale 7445

    Important European Furniture, Sculpture and Tapestries

    6 December 2007, London, King Street

  • Lot 125

    A PAIR OF BRONZE GROUPS OF THE RAPE OF EUROPA AND NESSUS AND DEIANIRA

    ITALIAN OR FRENCH, LATE 17TH OR EARLY 18TH CENTURY

    Price Realised  

    A PAIR OF BRONZE GROUPS OF THE RAPE OF EUROPA AND NESSUS AND DEIANIRA
    ITALIAN OR FRENCH, LATE 17TH OR EARLY 18TH CENTURY
    EUROPA DEPICTED SEATED ON THE BACK OF THE FLOWER-BEDECKED BULL; DEIANIRA SEATED ON THE BACK OF THE CENTAUR NESSUS; EACH ON AN INTEGRAL NATURALISTIC RECTANGULAR PLINTH AND LATER RECTANGULAR MARBLE BASE; WITH A WARM REDDISH-BROWN PATINA AND LIGHTER HIGH POINTS
    9¾ AND 8 1/8 IN. (24.8 AND 20.6 CM.) HIGH; 12 1/8 AND 10½ IN. (30.7 AND 26.7 CM.) HIGH, OVERALL (2)


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    IT IS GENERALLY ACCEPTED THAT THE VARYING PHYSIOGNOMIES OF THE TWO ABDUCTION GROUPS OFFERED HERE, IS DUE TO THE FACT THAT THEY WERE CONCEIVED BY DIFFERENT HANDS AND PAIRED AT A LATER DATE IN ORDER TO CREATE A DECORATIVE ENSEMBLE. THE NESSUS AND DEIANIRA EXISTS IN A SMALL NUMBER OF FRENCH CASTS DATING TO CIRCA 1690, THE PRINCIPAL VERSIONS OF WHICH ARE IN THE WALLACE COLLECTION, LONDON, AND THE GRüNES GEWöLBE, DRESDEN (WENLEY, LOC. CIT. AND WEIHRAUCH, LOC. CIT. RESPECTIVELY). WHILE THIS MODEL MAY HAVE BEEN CONCEIVED AT AN EARLIER DATE TO THE RAPE OF EUROPA, THEY CERTAINLY FEATURE AS A PAIR FROM 1700, WHEN THEY APPEAR AS SUCCESSIVE ENTRIES IN THE INVENTORY OF ANDRé LE NOTRE'S COLLECTION AND AS SEPARATE BRONZES BOUGHT IN 1699 BY THE ELECTOR OF SAXONY IN PARIS. IT IS LIKELY, THEREFORE, THAT AN INDUSTRIOUS FOUNDER CONSIDERED THIS PAIRING TO BE OF GOOD COMMERCIAL VALUE AND MODIFIED THE MODELS BY ADDING A GARLAND AROUND THE BULL'S NECK AND HARMONISING THE PLINTHS.

    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.


    Pre-Lot Text

    THE PROPERTY OF A GENTLEMAN (LOTS 122-126)


    Literature

    COMPARATIVE LITERATURE:
    H. WEIHRAUCH, EUROPäISCHE BRONZESTATUETTEN 15.-18. JAHRHUNDERT, BRUNSWICK, 1967, P. 410, FIG. 494.
    R. WENLEY, FRENCH BRONZES IN THE WALLACE COLLECTION, LONDON, 2002, PP. 62-3, S187.