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    Sale 7658

    Italian Ceramic Art 1400-1900

    22 April 2008, London, King Street

  • Lot 126

    A FLORENCE (CANTAGALLI) TWO-HANDLED COMPRESSED TAPERING OVIFORM VASE

    CIRCA 1890, BLUE COCKEREL MARK

    Price Realised  

    Estimate

    A FLORENCE (CANTAGALLI) TWO-HANDLED COMPRESSED TAPERING OVIFORM VASE
    CIRCA 1890, BLUE COCKEREL MARK
    Decorated in coloured enamels, ruby and copper lustres and gilding, after the 'Journey of the Magi' by Benozzo Gozzoli, with a crowned figure and attendants wearing early Renaissance dress before turreted buildings, mountains and trees within lakeside landscapes, the high loop handles moulded with female busts issuing down-turned acanthus leaves and terminating in bearded masks, each end of the body moulded with a head of a youth at the shoulder below a waisted neck and scrolling rim, the rim interior richly lustred, the spreading oval foot with a band of down-turned beaded acanthus (foot cracked through and re-bolted, small losses and small associated areas of restoration around break, one mask with slight chipping to tip of nose)
    18 5/8 in. (47.3 cm.) high


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    The name Cantagalli has been associated with Florentine pottery since the Renaissance. Ulisse Cantagalli inherited the works in 1878 and, with his brother Romeo, established an art pottery making pieces in the Renaissance revival style. The present vase embodies the influence of revivalists such as the Pre-Raphaelite potter William De Morgan. De Morgan regularly wintered in Florence in the late 19th century and often used Italian artists (see footnote lot 127 in this sale), and was clearly influenced by his surroundings. His association with the factory is loose; even though at one point he mooted a partnership with Cantagalli to bail out his ailing Fulham works, he only commissioned a few pieces after the death of Cantagalli in 1901. However, his admiration for the work of their wares is clear from his paper delivered to The Royal Society of Arts on 31st May 1892, in which he praised the Florentine potter's lustre stating 'The best I have even seen are those at Cantagalli, at Florence'.

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