The present tte--tte and following five lots were made by the Neapolitan pottery and porcelain firm of Giustiniani. Founded by Nicola Giustiniani circa 1760, its most successful period was in the early 19th century under the direction of Nicola's grandson, Biagio. Although a variety of wares were produced, copies of Antique vases and the use of antique forms and decoration as exemplified by this and the following five lots were the high point of its production. The firm closed shortly after 1885.
Giustiniani based its shapes and decoration on Antique prototypes, readily available since the excavations at Pompeii and Herculaneum in the mid 18th century. The publication in two volumes later in the century of the Greek vase collection formed by Sir William Hamilton, representative of George II of England to the court at Naples and an avid antiquarian, served to spread knowledge of these wares and to enflame the vogue for all things Antique. Josiah Wedgwood based many of his encaustic-decorated Antique copies on examples from Hamilton's collection. Giustiniani seems to have also freely borrowed from this source.
See Ian Jenkins and Kim Sloan, Vases & Volcanoes, Sir William Hamilton and his Collection, British Museum, London, 1996 for a detailed discussion of the formation of the Collection and its effect on the art of the period.