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A LARGE ITALIAN SILVER EWER AND BASIN
A LARGE ITALIAN SILVER EWER AND BASIN
A LARGE ITALIAN SILVER EWER AND BASIN
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A LARGE ITALIAN SILVER EWER AND BASIN
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These lots have been imported from outside the EU … Read more PROPERTY FROM A MEMBER OF THE ROYAL HOUSE OF SAVOY (LOTS 102-104)
A LARGE ITALIAN SILVER EWER AND BASIN

BY GIOVANNI BELLEZZA, MARK OF MILAN, CIRCA 1847

Details
A LARGE ITALIAN SILVER EWER AND BASIN
BY GIOVANNI BELLEZZA, MARK OF MILAN, CIRCA 1847
The baluster ewer on spreading gadrooned base below a band of stiff leaf foliage, the centre cast with three seated mermen, the ovoid body centred with a mythological wedding scene, depicting an altar between the bride and groom and with two putti below, each holding a coat-of-arms and surrounded by guests, musicians, dancers and a soldier, the shoulder of the ewer applied with heraldic elements alternating with animals framed by scrolling foliage, the neck with scenes of cavorting putti, the spout applied with a large mask, the winged caryatid shaped handle with bearded man lower terminal and two dolphins by the upper rim; the circular basin with border of dancing putti in scrolling foliage, the centre with allegories of industry, agriculture, the sciences, the arts and the State of Italy, a plaque below with presentation inscription, and on the raised centre the arms of Savoy; the ewer with gilt sleeve and the dish with detachable back plate, marked with standard mark and territory mark for Milan, engraved on ewer foot and centre of basin 'G. Bellazza M. F. 1847'
the basin 26 ½ in. (67.3 cm.) high; the ewer 27 ½ in. (70 cm.) high
587 oz. 4 dwt. (18,264 gr.)
The arms are those of Savoy, for Victor-Emmanuel II (1820-1878), and of Habsburg-Lorraine, for Maria Adelaide, archduchess of Austria (1822-1855).
The inscription on the plaque reads ''A Te Adelaide Progenie Augusta Di Raineri Austriaco Ed Elisabetta Sabauda Le Cul Virtu Ne Fanno Cara A Lombarde E Venete Provincie 'L'Autorita' Milano Lieta Di Averti Dato La Culla Gratulando Plaudendo Al Tuo Felice Imeneo Con Vittorio Emmanuelle Pr. R. Di Sardegna uesto Lavoro Di Artefici Suoi Che Su La Dora Ti Ricordi La Patria Devotamente Offeriva A MDCCCXLII' which translates as 'For you Adelaide, august daughter of Rainer of Austria and Elisabeth of Savoie Carignan, whose virtues make her authority dear to the provinces of Lombardy and Veneto. The city of Milan is delighted to have given you a warm and welcoming home for your happy marriage to Victor Emmanuel King of Sardinia and offers this work made by its craftsmen in the hope that it reminds of your homeland while you stay on the Dora river. Year 1842.'
Provenance
Presented to Victor-Emmanuel II, King of Sardinia and King of Italy and Maria Adelaide of Habsburg-Lorraine, archduchess of Austria, in 1861, then by descent.
Literature
S. Pergola e F. Cirelli editori proprietari, Poliorama pittoresco opera periodica diretta a spandere in tutte le classi della società utili conoscenze di ogni genere e a rendere gradevoli e proficue le letture in famiglia, Naples, 1848, pp. 53-58.
Guglielmo Silva, Carme descrittivo della brocca e del bacino, Milan, 1847.
Special notice

These lots have been imported from outside the EU for sale using a Temporary Import regime. Import VAT is payable (at 5%) on the Hammer price. VAT is also payable (at 20%) on the buyer’s Premium on a VAT inclusive basis. When a buyer of such a lot has registered an EU address but wishes to export the lot or complete the import into another EU country, he must advise Christie's immediately after the auction.

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Lot Essay

AN ALLEGORY OF MARRIAGE
This ewer and basin were presented to the newlywed Marie Adelaide of Habsburg-Lorraine. It was commissioned from Giovanni Bellezza (1807-1876), the celebrated Italian engraver and sculptor of bronzes by the city of Milan. The central frieze of the ewer features Imeneus, the Greek god of marriage, by the groom stands an allegory of honour and power whilst the bride is flanked by an allegory of purity and fertility. The coat-of-arms are those of Milan. The centre of the basin features Italia Turrita, the personification of Italy, together with the allegory of charity with her two sons Science and Urania on one side and the Arts on the other.

THE BRIDE AND GROOM
Victor-Emmanuel II (1820 -1878) was the eldest son of Charles Albert, King of Sardinia (1798-1849), and Archduchess Maria Theresa of Austria (1817-1849). In 1842, he married his cousin, Archduchess Adelaide of Austria (1822-1855). She was born at the Royal Palace of Milan to Archduke Rainer Joseph of Austria (1783-1853) and his wife Princess Elisabeth of Savoy (1800-1856). Her father was the Viceroy of Lombardy-Venetia and was a son of Leopold II, Holy Roman Emperor and Maria Luisa of Spain. Her mother was a member of the House of Savoy and a daughter of the Prince of Carignano, the head of the junior branch of the House of Savoy who ruled the Kingdom of Sardinia.

The marriage celebrated on 12 April 1842 at the Palazzina di Caccia di Stupinigi cemented the relations between the House of Savoy and the House of Habsburg. Victor-Emmanuel was first known as Duke of Savoy before his father abdicated following the Revolutions of 1848, when he succeeded as King of Sardinia-Piedmont, ruling from 1849 to 1861, when he became the first post-unification King of Italy known as the Padre della Patria (father of the fatherland) until his death in 1878.

THE CRAFTSMEN OF THE ACCADEMIA DI BRERA
The drawings of the ewer and basin were executed by Ferdinando Albertolli (1780-1844), and painted by Luigi Sabatelli (1772-1850), whilst Benedetto Cacciatori (1793-1871) created the wax models and Giovanni Bellezza (1807-1876) the silversmithing. All worked extensively for the city of Milan and taught at the Accademia di Brera.

Ferdinando Albertolli was an architect and engraver born in Bedano. He studied at the Accademia di Brera under his uncle Giocondo and later married his daughter. In 1804 he was appointed professor of architecture in Verona; he briefly taught at the Accademia in Venezia before moving to Rome. In 1812 he succeeded his uncle at the Accademia di Brera where he taught for the rest of his life.

Benedetto Cacciatori (1793-1871), born in Carrara, studied drawing with Desmarais and sculpture with Bartolinini at the Accademia di Belle Arti in Carrara. He later came to Milan to study at the Accademia di Brera with Pacetti. The city commissioned his work on a number of occasions, such as the Arch of Peace and the statues of the rivers Po and Ticino. He also had quite a strong connection with the Savoy family. In 1828 he delivered a statue of Apollo commissioned by Maria-Cristina di Savoia. His most important commission from the family was the monument dedicated to Amedeo VIII (1837-1843) in the cathedral of Turin. Cacciatori work was was also celebrated in Lombardy. His last role was teaching sculpture at the Accademia di Brera, where he worked until 1860.

Luigi Sabatelli (1772-1850) was born in Florence and worked in Milan as a painter from 1809. He also taught at the Accademia di Brera. He worked for the city of Milan completing several allegorical and mythological decoration schemes for palaces and churches.

Giovanni Bellezza was born in Milan on 9th August 1807. He trained as a goldsmith, chaser-engraver and bronze-maker. He also taught at the Accademia di Brera as at the all'orfanotrofio maschile di Milano.

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