Overview

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AN ITALIAN MAIOLICA ISTORIATO CHARGER (PIATTO DA POMPA)
AN ITALIAN MAIOLICA ISTORIATO CHARGER (PIATTO DA POMPA)

CIRCA 1550-60, DUCHY OF URBINO, THE REVERSE INSCRIBED HORATIO IN LARGE SERIPH LETTERS

Details
AN ITALIAN MAIOLICA ISTORIATO CHARGER (PIATTO DA POMPA)
CIRCA 1550-60, DUCHY OF URBINO, THE REVERSE INSCRIBED HORATIO IN LARGE SERIPH LETTERS
The centre with Horatius on horseback on the wooden bridge across the Tiber, fighting off the Etruscan army on the right, dead and wounded Etruscan soldiers at his feet and in the river before him, the fortifications of Rome to the left, a group of Romans frantically breaking up the bridge behind him with picks, with towers and fortifications in the far distance, within a blue line border and yellow band rim, the reverse inscribed HORATIO within three concentric yellow bands (slight chip to body at underside of rim at 10 o'clock, fritting and chipping to glaze at rim)
18 in. (45.8 cm.) diam.
Provenance
Baron Adolphe de Rothschild Collection,
By descent to Maurice de Rothschild
With Duveen Bros., New York, 1916
Clarence H. MacKay, New York
Dr. H. Deutsch Collection, Belle Harbour, Long Island, New York, sale Sotheby's 14th May 1963, lot 33
Anonymous sale, Christie's, London, 7th July 2003, lot 1.

Brought to you by

Dominic Simpson
Dominic Simpson

Lot Essay

This charger depicts a heroic scene from the siege of Rome recounted by Livy. Horatius, on foot, held the wooden bridge against the Etruscans while his fellow Romans demolished it behind him, holding off the enemy by himself until he finally jumped into the Tiber. Despite the historical record that he fought on foot, maiolica examples of this subject show him on horseback. Marcantonio Raimondi's engraving of the subject also shows Horatius on horseback, and it is presumably his print which was the source used for Horatius on this charger (see p. 66). Unusually, this charger depicts a wooden bridge as described by Livy, rather than a stone bridge which is more common (see lot 55).

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