• Important Silver and Objects o auction at Christies

    Sale 2209

    Important Silver and Objects of Vertu Including the Inventory of Marks Antiques of London

    22 October 2009, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

  • Lot 75

    AN IMPORTANT ITALIAN SILVER AND DAMASCENED IRON VASE

    ATTRIBUTED TO ANTONIO CORTELAZZO, VICENZA, CIRCA 1875

    Price Realised  

    AN IMPORTANT ITALIAN SILVER AND DAMASCENED IRON VASE
    ATTRIBUTED TO ANTONIO CORTELAZZO, VICENZA, CIRCA 1875
    On shaped square base, cast and chased with foliage and demi figures, inset with damascened panels of Mars, Mercury, Diana and a river goddess, the shaped circular body similarly chased and inset with damascened panels of Neptune and attendant figures, with mermaid handles, with mask and dragon joins, the cover surmounted by a coat-of-arms, supporters and coronet, apparently unmarked
    13½ in. (34.3 cm.) high


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    The arms are those of Naryshkin, as borne by Vassily Naryshkin (1841-1906).

    Antonio Cortelazzo (1819-1903) was born in Vicenza and discovered by the archaeologist Sir Henry Austen Layard (1817-1894). In Cortelazzo's convincing copies of the works of Italian mannerist goldsmith Benvenuto Cellini, Layard recognized his talent. Cortelazzo was quickly exposed to a variety of important patrons, including industrialist Sir Ivor Guest (1835-1914), Sir William Drake and King Victor Emmanuel of Sardinia-Piedmont and later of Italy (for whom he made a sword, which was exhibited at the Florence Exhibition of 1861 and again in London in 1862).

    Another important patron was Vassily Naryshkin, an official of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and a Gentleman of the Tsar's Bed Chamber. He was an antique collector, an honorary member of the Academy of Fine Arts, and a member of the Society for the Promotion of Artists.
    Cortelazzo made another commission for the Naryshkin family, a large tea service of 1881/1882 (Sold Sotheby's, London, 6 March 1997, lot 91 and illustrated in Vanessa Brett, Sotheby's Directory of Silver 1600-1940, 1987, p. 394). A ewer and basin exhibited by Cortelazzo at the International Exhibition, London, 1871 are now in the Indianapolis Museum of Art.

    See Vanessa Brett, Sotheby's Directory of Silver 1600-1940, 1987, p. 394
    John Culme, Nineteenth Century Silver, 1977, p. 203
    Eleanor H. Gustafson, 'Museum accessions,' Magazine Antiques, February 2003