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A PAIR OF ITALIAN (TRAPANI) GILT-COPPER AND CORAL-MOUNTED PRICKET STICKS
A PAIR OF ITALIAN (TRAPANI) GILT-COPPER AND CORAL-MOUNTED PRICKET STICKS
A PAIR OF ITALIAN (TRAPANI) GILT-COPPER AND CORAL-MOUNTED PRICKET STICKS
A PAIR OF ITALIAN (TRAPANI) GILT-COPPER AND CORAL-MOUNTED PRICKET STICKS
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A PAIR OF ITALIAN (TRAPANI) GILT-COPPER AND CORAL-MOUNTED PRICKET STICKS

CIRCA 1720

Details
A PAIR OF ITALIAN (TRAPANI) GILT-COPPER AND CORAL-MOUNTED PRICKET STICKS
CIRCA 1720
Each with baluster shaft on tripartite support
22 ¼ in. (56.5 cm.) high
Provenance
Anonymous sale; Semenzato, Rome, 7 October 1988, lot 519.
Literature
A. Daneu, L'arte trapanese del corallo, Palermo, 1964, Tavola XIVb.
G. C. Ascione, Storia del coralli a Napoli dal XVI al XIX secolo, Naples, 1991, pp. 61-5, fig.45.
Catania, Palazzo Valle, Fondation Puglisi Cosentino, Trapani, Museo Interdisciplinare Regionale 'Agostino Pepoli', I grandi capolavori del corallo - I coralli di Trapani del XVII e XVIII secolo, 3 mars 2013 - 5 mai 2013, 18 mai 2013 - 30 juin 2013, V. P. Li Vigni et al., Milano, 2013, p. 120, fig. 54.
Special notice

Lots made of or including (regardless of the percentage) endangered and other protected species of wildlife are marked with the symbol ~ in the catalogue. This material includes, among other things, ivory, tortoiseshell, crocodile skin, rhinoceros horn, whalebone certain species of coral, and Brazilian rosewood. You should check the relevant customs laws and regulations before bidding on any lot containing wildlife material if you plan to import the lot into another country. Several countries refuse to allow you to import property containing these materials, and some other countries require a licence from the relevant regulatory agencies in the countries of exportation as well as importation. In some cases, the lot can only be shipped with an independent scientific confirmation of species and/or age, and you will need to obtain these at your own cost.

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Jonathan Rendell
Jonathan Rendell

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Lot Essay

Trapani, in Sicily, where the present pricket sticks were made, was a famous center of coral-work production between the 16th and the 18th centuries. Famously expensive and collected or exchanged as diplomatic gifts between European nobility, coral-work form Trapani generally combines a gilt-copper ground with enamel embellishments and was fashioned into a variety of religious and secular items.
The present pair demonstrates many characteristics of workmanship from this region. The gilded copper and coral surface of the pricket sticks is achieved by setting the pieces of carved coral into the metal using a technique called 'retroincastro'. This consists of inserting small pieces of polished coral into pre-punched holes in the metal, which conform exactly to the pieces of coral. The coral is then fixed using a mixture of pitch and wax, sealed with strips of cloth.
A related set of four Trapani candlesticks, but of larger size, was sold from the collection of Manolo March, Christie’s, Paris, 16 June 2015, lot 28 (€ 805,500).

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