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Sale IT209 Lot 2016

ENGLISH BLACK BASALT OVAL CAMEO-MEDALLION PLAQUE OF A ‘HERCULANEUM NYMPH’ circa 1775, unmarked, attributed to Wedgwood & Bentley, the center applied in relief with semi-nude female figure cloaked in a diaphanous drape, a salver held in her left hand, within an integral rouletted frame with trace gilding, pierced for suspension, h: 15 x w: 12 1/4 in.

Provenance: David Davis Collection, no. 24 (labels).
Pereira Collection, no. 124 (label).
BW Collection, no. 91 (label).
With Lindsay Grigsby Antiques, 2009.
Jeffrey Milkins Collection, no. 519.

Catalogue Note:
One of six ‘Dancing Nymphs’, based on the wall paintings excavated from the Villa of Cicero outside Pompeii. For additional details, see the footnote for an 'encaustic-decorated' example, Milkins Collection no. 885, lot 2039 in the present sale. This form was first listed in the Wedgwood & Bentley trade catalogues in 1773 and based on correspondence may have been in production as early as 1771.. For a similar example, see The Victoria & Albert Museum, accession no. 2409-1901, illustrated in Colonel Maurice H. Grant, ‘The Makers of Black Basaltes’, pl. LI, no. 2. For a third example, see the Bernard & Lydia Starr Collection, Sotheby’s, 23 October 2019, lot 102.

Exhibitions: Mint Museum, Charlotte, North Carolina, ‘Classic Black: The Basalt Sculpture of Wedgwood and His Contemporaries’, 9 February 2020 – 3 January 2021, no. 4.

Literature: Brian Gallagher, ‘Classic Black’ op. cit., exhibition catalogue, p. 59, no. 4.
Estimate $3,000-5,000

Sold for $3,500.00

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