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Sale IT209 Lot 2017

ENGLISH BLACK BASALT OVAL CAMEO-MEDALLION PLAQUE, ‘CASSANDRA GRASPING THE PALLADIUM’ circa 1775, unmarked, attributed to Wedgwood & Bentley, modeled by John Bacon, the center applied in relief with a semi-nude female figure cloaked in a diaphanous drape swooning before a small effigy of Athena, a tall term at the right, within an integral rouletted frame, pierced for suspension, h: 10 3/4 x w: 9 in.

Provenance: Brown Collection.
With Lindsay Grigsby Decorative Arts, 2013 (label).
Jeffrey Milkins Collection, no. 683.

Catalogue Note:
Cassandra was a Trojan princess and a priestess of Apollo who was granted the power of prophecy but was cursed to always be disbelieved. Cassandra foresaw the fall of Rome among many other true predictions but was condemned to never be trusted. At the fall of Troy, Cassandra sought shelter in the temple of Athena and grasped her wooden effigy as a supplicant for her protection. For a similar example, see Skinner, Boston, 19 July 2014, sale 2740B, lot 368.

Exhibitions: Mint Museum, Charlotte, North Carolina, ‘Classic Black: The Basalt Sculpture of Wedgwood and His Contemporaries’, 9 February 2020 – 3 January 2021, no. 8.


Literature: Brian Gallagher, ‘Classic Black’ op. cit., exhibition catalogue, p.66-67, no. 8.
Estimate $2,000-3,000

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