A Passion for Plaster | In Conversation with James Perkins & Charlotte Schelling, Sculpture Specialist

A Passion for Plaster | In Conversation with James Perkins & Charlotte Schelling, Sculpture Specialist

A Passion for Plaster | In Conversation with James Perkins & Charlotte Schelling, Sculpture Specialist

 

 

 

Since its heyday in the late 18th and 19th centuries, the tradition of collecting plaster has been fuelled by intellectual curiosity. Often taken directly from the surfaces of monuments and statuary, plaster casts were considered highly accurate and invaluable learning tools for students of art and architecture, as well as museum audiences.  

This desire to educate through plaster is still visible at the Victoria & Albert Museum, where reproductions of monuments from all over the world have been admired and studied alongside ‘original’ works since the opening of the cast courts in 1873.

Replicas particularly of ancient monuments also allowed Grand Tourists to bring their destinations home with them, and with the rise of Neoclassicism plaster casts soon became a key feature of the European interior.

A famous example of such an interior is Sir John Soane’s Museum, where mouldings of ancient monuments collected by the Georgian architect cover most of the walls.

The collection of plaster casts at Aynhoe Park, which is perhaps not entirely coincidentally housed in an interior designed by Sir John Soane himself, echoes and honours this long tradition. It effortlessly traverses styles, countries, and centuries to create an eclectic yet harmonious picture of the past, an important dossier for historic architectural detailing.

Auction Highlights

Inline Image - Lot 38: A LARGE AND IMPRESSIVE PLASTER MODEL OF PALLAS VELLETRI 
MODERN, AFTER THE ANTIQUE, The goddess portrayed fully draped and with coiled necklace, partial cast lacking arms and head, 275cm high | Est. £7,000-10,000 (+fees)
Lot 38: A LARGE AND IMPRESSIVE PLASTER MODEL OF PALLAS VELLETRI MODERN, AFTER THE ANTIQUE, The goddess portrayed fully draped and with coiled necklace, partial cast lacking arms and head, 275cm high | Est. £7,000-10,000 (+fees)
Inline Image - Lot 117: AN IMPRESSIVE FULL-SIZE PLASTER SECTION OF DONATELLO'S EQUESTRIAN STATUE OF GATTAMELATA, LATE 19TH / EARLY 20TH CENTURY, Showing the rider's right leg, clad in armour, and partial ornate saddle, 144cm high, 85cm wide | Est. £2,000-4,000 (+fees)
Lot 117: AN IMPRESSIVE FULL-SIZE PLASTER SECTION OF DONATELLO'S EQUESTRIAN STATUE OF GATTAMELATA, LATE 19TH / EARLY 20TH CENTURY, Showing the rider's right leg, clad in armour, and partial ornate saddle, 144cm high, 85cm wide | Est. £2,000-4,000 (+fees)
Inline Image - Lot 311: A PAIR OF LARGE PLASTER TORCHERES, AFTER THE ANTIQUE, MODERN, Of baluster form, the stem cast with a figural relief of maidens, probably Maeneads, terminating in acanthus leaves and square paw bases, circa 277cm high | Est. £3,000-5,000 (+fees)
Lot 311: A PAIR OF LARGE PLASTER TORCHERES, AFTER THE ANTIQUE, MODERN, Of baluster form, the stem cast with a figural relief of maidens, probably Maeneads, terminating in acanthus leaves and square paw bases, circa 277cm high | Est. £3,000-5,000 (+fees)
Inline Image - Lot 323: A MASSIVE PLASTER CAST OF A SECTION OF THE PORCH OF THE MAIDENS, FROM THE ERECHTEION, ATHENS, 20TH CENTURY, AFTER THE ANTIQUE, Showing two draped caryatids, supporting the entablature and raised on an egg-and-dart moulded plinth, The caryatids standing approximately 230cm tall, commensurate with the original marbles, base approximately 245cm wide | Est. £10,000-15,000 (+fees)
Lot 323: A MASSIVE PLASTER CAST OF A SECTION OF THE PORCH OF THE MAIDENS, FROM THE ERECHTEION, ATHENS, 20TH CENTURY, AFTER THE ANTIQUE, Showing two draped caryatids, supporting the entablature and raised on an egg-and-dart moulded plinth, The caryatids standing approximately 230cm tall, commensurate with the original marbles, base approximately 245cm wide | Est. £10,000-15,000 (+fees)
Inline Image - Lot 333: A PLASTER CAST OF A TABLET FROM THE BASE FROM TRAJAN'S COLUMN, ROME, AFTER THE ANTIQUE, with lettering 'SENATVS POPVLVS QVE ROMANVS/..., in three sections, each numbered 13A... 14..., 126cm high, 129cm wide | Est. £1,500-2,500 (+fees)
Lot 333: A PLASTER CAST OF A TABLET FROM THE BASE FROM TRAJAN'S COLUMN, ROME, AFTER THE ANTIQUE, with lettering 'SENATVS POPVLVS QVE ROMANVS/..., in three sections, each numbered 13A... 14..., 126cm high, 129cm wide | Est. £1,500-2,500 (+fees)
Inline Image - Lot 334: A PLASTER CAST OF A COFFERED CEILING SECTION FROM THE ERECHTEION, ATHENS, LATE 19TH/EARLY 20TH CENTURY, Relief cast with concentric squares, presented in two sections, Approximately 200cm wide | Est. £1,000-1,500 (+fees)
Lot 334: A PLASTER CAST OF A COFFERED CEILING SECTION FROM THE ERECHTEION, ATHENS, LATE 19TH/EARLY 20TH CENTURY, Relief cast with concentric squares, presented in two sections, Approximately 200cm wide | Est. £1,000-1,500 (+fees)
Inline Image - Lot 591: AFTER PAUL DUBOIS (FRENCH, 1829-1905), A LARGE PLASTER SECTION OF THE EQUESTRIAN STATUE OF JOAN OF ARC, LATE 19TH/FIRST HALF 20TH CENTURY, AFTER A CIRCA 1896 ORIGINAL, Fragmentary, showing the body and legs of the horse, with ornamented tack, and a section of the rider, on an integral rectangular plinth inscribed P. DUBOIS to the maquette, 220cm high, 210cm long, 90cm wide | Est. £4,000-6,000 (+fees)
Lot 591: AFTER PAUL DUBOIS (FRENCH, 1829-1905), A LARGE PLASTER SECTION OF THE EQUESTRIAN STATUE OF JOAN OF ARC, LATE 19TH/FIRST HALF 20TH CENTURY, AFTER A CIRCA 1896 ORIGINAL, Fragmentary, showing the body and legs of the horse, with ornamented tack, and a section of the rider, on an integral rectangular plinth inscribed P. DUBOIS to the maquette, 220cm high, 210cm long, 90cm wide | Est. £4,000-6,000 (+fees)
Inline Image - Lot 592: FOUR PLASTER CASTS FROM THE WEST PEDIMENT OF THE TEMPLE OF ZEUS AT OLYMPIA, LATE 19TH CENTURY, Comprising fragments of crouched male and female figures, The largest example 170cm high, 127 long, 70 wide, the smallest 94cm high, 200cm long, 60cm wide | Est. £6,000-8,000 (+fees)
Lot 592: FOUR PLASTER CASTS FROM THE WEST PEDIMENT OF THE TEMPLE OF ZEUS AT OLYMPIA, LATE 19TH CENTURY, Comprising fragments of crouched male and female figures, The largest example 170cm high, 127 long, 70 wide, the smallest 94cm high, 200cm long, 60cm wide | Est. £6,000-8,000 (+fees)

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