Italian School (early 15th century)

Head of Prudence Naples, Early 15th century Marble 26.3 x 16.4 x 15.9 cm Prudence was one of the four Cardinal Virtues; she is shown with two faces to represent her watchfulness. This fragment probably came from an early 15th century tomb sculpture in the Church of San Francesco, Gaeta, near Naples. It is said … Read more

Unrecorded Italian Artist (13th century)

Lion Mask Italy, perhaps Tuscany, 13th century Marble 33.4 x 31.5 x 14.5 cm The mask originally formed the head of a fountain, possibly for a public drinking supply. Mineral deposits around the mouth indicate water issued out of it. The high quality of the carving is reflected in the contrasting ways in which the … Read more

Unrecorded Thai Artist (18th/19th century)

Head of a Buddha Thailand, probably 18th / 19th century Bronze This sculpture was probably originally attached to a complete figure. It is in a style associated with the former capital city of Ayudhya. According to orthodox notions, any images of the Buddha bear a portion of his innate spiritual deity. Such sculptures are made … Read more

Joseph Chinard (1756 – 1813)

Bust of Madame Juliette Récamier (1777-1849) Paris, Model: about 1802; Version: early 19th century or later Marble 67.3 x 31.5 x 19 cm Mme Récamier, celebrated for her beauty, was the wife – and possibly the illegitimate daughter – of a wealthy older banker. She became a prominent figure in Parisian political and literary circles. The … Read more

JOSEPH GOTT (1786 – 1860)

Greyhound with Puppies Rome, about 1825-27 Carved white marble, on a variegated marble base 43 x 55 x 37.5 cm The British sculptor Joseph Gott lived and worked in Rome, the birthplace of neo-classicism, of which style he was a late exponent. His repertoire was broad, but his animal groups attracted the greatest praise from … Read more

Edgar Degas (1834 – 1917)

A Horse Trotting Paris, Model: late 1880s, Cast: Hébrard foundry, Paris, 1919-21 Bronze 22.5 x 22.2 cm Degas’ interest in horses is evidenced by his numerous paintings with racecourse subjects, such as the Barber’s magnificent ‘Jockeys Before the Race’ of c.1878-79. This model may have been inspired by a photograph of ‘The Trot’ by Eadweard Muybridge … Read more

Orazio Marinali (1643 – 1720)

Christ as the Man of Sorrows Vicenza, Italy, about 1690 Marble relief 35 x 28.5 cm Orazio Marinali was the leading member of a prominent family of sculptors in Vicenza, near Venice, which specialised in religious images. Orazio’s sculptures are often of extreme emotional intensity, as in this extraordinary relief carving, which is particularly moving. Equally … Read more

EDGAR DEGAS (1834-1917)

Grande Arabesque, Third Time Paris, Model: about 1885-90; Cast: 1919-21 Bronze 44.5 x 55.3 x 29 cm Ballet dancers are Degas’ most famous subject matter, and he was clearly fascinated by the endless variety of their poses. This engaging study of concentration is the culmination of a series of three that show one of the … Read more

Daniel Smith and Robert Sharp (active partnership 1763-1788)

Teapot and stand London, 1785 Gold with wooden handle and bone knob 12.6 x 24.5 cm The teapot is engraved with the arms of William Beckford (1760-1844), the Gothic novelist, and those of his wife, Lady Margaret Gordon (1762-1786). His inheritance, at the age of nine from his father, Alderman Beckford, left him the richest … Read more

Unrecorded Edo Artist from the Royal Artisan Guilds of Benin (18th/19th century)

Ikegobo to the Iyoba (Hand Altar to the Queen Mother) Benin, Edo state, (modern day) southern Nigeria, about 18th/19th century Brass 21.3 x 26.7 cm diameter at base This Ikegobo (altarpiece) originated in Benin, now southern Nigeria, in West Africa, a city that was known for castings in brass and bronze using complex techniques such … Read more

Andrea Riccio (1470-1532)

African Boy Riding a upon a Billy-Goat Padua, Model and Cast: early 1500s Bronze, marble and gilt bronze 21.7 x 22.1 cm excluding base The boy holds a shell, cast from an actual specimen of a common Mediterranean mollusc, and probably intended to hold ink. Therefore, this is ostensibly a functional object, likely for a … Read more