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Sale IT209 Lot 2025

WEDGWOOD & BENTLEY BLACK BASALT BUST OF THE DUTCH JURIST HUGO GROTIUS circa 1775-1779, impressed Wedgwood & Bentley, twice on the back of bust, iron-red enameled B22, after the oil painting by Michiel Janszoon van Mierevelt (1566-1641), depicted bearded, wearing a broad layered ruff over a doublet, raised on an integral socle base, set with a scroll label identifying the subject as 'GROTIUS, h: 19 11/16 in.

Provenance: With Muriel Polikoff, Philadelphia, PA 1992.
Jeffrey Milkins Collection, no. 216.

Catalogue Note:
Hugo Grotius, or de Groot (1583-1645) was a prominent Dutch jurist, humanist and pioneer of international law. Imprisoned in 1619 over a Dutch religious dispute, he managed to escape two years later by hiding in a chest of books. He is perhaps best remembered for a treatise he published in Paris in 1625, De jure belli ac pacis (On the Law of War and Peace).

Also see Gallagher, Ars Ceramica, 2019, no. 31, p. 18, fig. 9, who records that in September 1779, an order of six large busts, including a Grotius, was sent to Amsterdam fulfilling an order by Wedgwood's Dutch agent Lambertus van Veldhuysen. A bust of Grotius can also be found in Wedgwood & Bentley's 1779 trade catalogue.

Exhibitions: Mint Museum, Charlotte, NC, 'Classic Black: The Basalt Sculpture of Wedgwood and His Contemporaries, 9 February 2020 - 3 January 2021, no. 32.

Literature: Brian Gallagher, et al., op cit., ' Classic Black' exhibition, catalogue, p. 123, no. 32.
Estimate $5,000-7,000

Sold for $2,500.00

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