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22 November 2018

Fine British and European Sculpture

Lot 28

A Continental gilt bronze and marble mounted model of a triton

Estimate £300 - £500 + fees

Sold Price £700

A Continental gilt bronze and marble mounted model of a triton, late 18th century, in the manner of examples by Gian Lorenzo Bernini (1598 ~ 1680), portrayed as kneeling, his head turned to sinister, a shell held to his lips in his raised left hand; on a circular white marble socle with inset beading, atop a striated green marble base

10cm high, 9.5cm diameter



The origin of this charming model, whilst clearly Classical in idea is far more Renaissance in realisation. Bernini's Fontana del Tritone, in the Piazza Barberini, Rome is noteworthy in its similarity of stance and attitude; as is a 17th century gilt bronze figural table salt held at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York which is described as the work of a Follower of Gian Lorenzo Bernini (Accession Number:64.101.1468)

Perhaps more noteworthy though is a study in charcoal by Annibale Carracci for a ceiling fresco at the Palazzo Farnese in Rome, completed in 1597, (the study now also held at the Met in New York -Accession Number 1970.15). In the event the Triton blowing the conch shell was represented from a slightly different angle, but the similarity that the current bronze model has to Carracci's study is indeed striking, and it could be reasonably proposed that it could well have been inspired by or modelled after Carracci's work