A NYMPHENBURG PORCELAIN COMMEDIA DELL'ARTE FIGURE OF MEZZETINO AS HARLEQUIN
PROPERTY FROM A PRIVATE COLLECTION (LOTS 319 - 329)
A NYMPHENBURG PORCELAIN COMMEDIA DELL'ARTE FIGURE OF MEZZETINO AS HARLEQUIN

CIRCA 1760, IMPRESSED BAVARIAN SHIELD MARK, INCISED 180

Details
A NYMPHENBURG PORCELAIN COMMEDIA DELL'ARTE FIGURE OF MEZZETINO AS HARLEQUIN
CIRCA 1760, IMPRESSED BAVARIAN SHIELD MARK, INCISED 180
Modelled by Franz Anton Bustelli, cradling a monkey like a baby, a slapstick at his side, standing on a scroll-moulded base
6 5/8 in. (16.7 cm.) high

Brought to you by

Paul Gallois
Paul Gallois

Check the condition report or get in touch for additional information about this

If you wish to view the condition report of this lot, please sign in to your account.

Sign in
View condition report

Lot Essay

The series of Commedia dell'Arte figures that Franz Anton Bustelli produced for the Nymphenburg factory are considered the zenith of his sculptural achievements. They are particularly unusual in that pairs of figures were designed to interact together; there are eight pairs in total and Mezzetino couples with Lalage. Mezzetino, sometimes referred to as Mezzetin in English plays, is a Commedia dell'Arte stock character sometimes thought of as Harlequin's rival. Known for his mischievous and flirtatious nature, the monkey he holds in his arms is a symbol of lust. His name roughly translates to "Half-Measure of Liquor" in Medieval Italian.

Another example of this rare model, formerly in the Maurice Rothschild collection, was sold by Christie's, London, 28 March 1977, lot 157, and is now in the Bayerisches Nationalmuseum, Munich, see V.C.H. Beck, Franz Anton Bustelli, Munich, 2005, pp. 294-5, no. 151. Compare also with the bronze clock of Mezzetino in the Wallace Collection (no. S234), also depicted with a monkey.

More from The Collector: European Furniture, Works of Art & Ceramics

View All
View All