• Christies auction house James Christie logo

    Sale 1987

    Important European Furniture, Works of Art, Ceramics, Carpets, And Glass

    20 May 2008, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

  • Lot 249

    AN ITALIAN ORMOLU-MOUNTED BLUE JOHN, ALABASTER AND JASPER OBELISK

    ROME, LATE 18TH CENTURY

    Price Realised  

    AN ITALIAN ORMOLU-MOUNTED BLUE JOHN, ALABASTER AND JASPER OBELISK
    ROME, LATE 18TH CENTURY
    Of typical form, the blue john obelisk with a beaded and laurel-cast socle resting on an alabastro egiziano plinth and foil-backed pink flecked translucent stone pedestal mounted to each corner with a ram's head issuing laurel, with laurel-cast foot on conforming diasporo rosso-veneered plinth, inscribed in pencil underneath 'L2046'
    15½ in. (39.5 cm.) high


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    The skillful combination of precious hardstones and elegant 'antique' form of this richly conceived obelisk is typical of the work of Roman bronziers of the end of the 18th Century such as Luigi and Giuseppe Valadier and Francesco Righetti. It is also interesting to note a design for a related obelisk by the noted English silversmith and bronzier Matthew Boulton, who in turn frequently looked to Rome for inspiration (see N. Goodison, Matthew Boulton: Ormolu, London, 2002, p. 267, fig. 223.3).