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    Sale 7568

    Seven Centuries: Italian Works of Art From Palazzo Odescalchi, Rome

    8 November 2007, London, King Street

  • Lot 454

    A PAIR OF RECTANGULAR CARVED MARBLE RELIEFS OF ANGELS HOLDING ARMORIAL CARTOUCHES

    FRENCH OR ITALIAN, 15TH CENTURY

    Price Realised  

    A PAIR OF RECTANGULAR CARVED MARBLE RELIEFS OF ANGELS HOLDING ARMORIAL CARTOUCHES
    FRENCH OR ITALIAN, 15TH CENTURY
    Each angel standing in a pointed architectural niche and holding an armorial cartouche with five seashells; each on a modern, black metal stand; chips, losses, minor cracks, the shells effaced from one cartouche
    38 in. ( 96.5 cm.) high, each; 57.5 in. (146 cm.) high, overall, each (2)


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    The scallop shell is connected particularly with St. James the Greater whose shrine at Compostela became one of the most important pilgrimage sites in Europe in the middle ages. It was often used by adherents of the saint, and thus became a symbol of pilgrims in general. Because of the shell's widespread popularity, it is difficult to say with certainty whose coat of arms the present marble reliefs are intended to represent. There are at least two families in France whose coat of arms use five shells on a cross - de Grailly and de Harville - but it is impossible to differentiate them without the presence of identifying colours, or knowledge of their original context. They would originally have adorned a chapel or monument commissioned by the family.

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