No VAT will be charged on the hammer price, but VAT at 17.5% will be added to the buyer's premium which is invoiced on a VAT inclusive basis
Please note that one picador and the male figure wearing a faun and black striped coat is not included in this lot.
However, a damaged equestrian figure and a model of a horse are additional items in this lot.
LORD GEORGE WILLIAM RUSSELL'S SPANISH TERRACOTTAS
The Golden Age of the presepi crêche, can be securely traced to Naples during the reign of the Bourbon King, Charles III (d.1788). Master sculptors and their workshops were regularly employed by the Royal court, aristocracy and wealthier citizenry to model highly individualized miniature terracotta busts that often followed elaborate iconographic, scatologic and sociologic programs. These busts, once mounted on a stiff wire armature wrapped in twine, were dressed in elaborately decorated costumes that were the delight of Neapolitan high society as they portrayed the markedly diverse and multi-ethnic culture of Naples, the cross-roads of the Mediteranean.
The Bourbon Kingdom of the Two Sicilies, which existed formally from 1816 but in practice much earlier, meant that there were close cultural links between Spain and Naples, and it is no doubt as a result of these cultural cross-currents that the popularity for terracotta genre figures spread to Spain. Like the Neapolitan creche figures, the present terracottas display a fascination with costume and the variety of social types which existed in contemporary society.
This Collection of Terracotta Figures is by family tradition thought to have been acquired by Lord George William Russell (1790-1846), son of the 6th Duke of Bedford on his travels in the Iberian Peninsula during or shortly after the Peninsular War. A Captain in the 23rd Dragoons, he was wounded in the Cavalry charge at Talavera in 1809, served with General Graham at Barossa in 1810 and was appointed Aide-De-Camp to the Duke of Wellington in 1812, being on his staff at Orthes, ViVittoria and Toulouse. Sent home with Despatches in 1814, these figures may be the 'clay images' noted on an invoice dated 1815 held in the Devon Record Office. Initially destined for the 6th Duke's Fishing Lodge at Endsleigh, Devon, the shipment from Malaga, was refused at Plymouth. After docking at Hamburg, it eventually found safe harbour in London.
Placed in the long-since demolished Museum Room in the East Wing, they are recorded there in the guidebook of 1890:- 'Visitors on their arrrival are shown into this room, in which in glass cases are a number of models of cattle in bronze, by Garrard; some Greek and etruscan and four bronze vases; a collection of figures chiefly illustrative of the costume of Spain and Portugal; in the lower cases a small collection of natural history'.