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Sale IT209 Lot 2049

PAIR OF WEDGWOOD BLACK BASALT MODELS OF THE GRECIAN SPHINXES circa 1810, impressed uppercase mark, after a model by John Cheere, in the Greco-Egyptian style, each depicted as a female figure with a lion's body, wearing a diadem, scaled breastplate and an elaborately patterned saddlecloth, crouching with tails curled, on a stepped rectangular base, h: 7 3/4 x w: 4 3/4 x l: 11 1/4 in. (2)

Provenance: Jeffrey Milkins Collection, no. 194.

Catalogue Note:
For an extensive discussion on the origin of this model and a pair in bronze at Kedleston, see The National Trust Collections, object no. 109024 . John Cheere (1709-1787) based his model and its pendant on those carved by Giovanni Battista Guelphi (1691-1736) for Lord Burlington and William Kent’s renowned garden at Chiswick. These in turn were partially based on Antique Roman examples. Further sculptural examples by Nicolas Coustou (1658-1733) have also been listed as a potential prototype for this design.

For a Wedgwood & Bentley pair from the Theodore Spak Collection, see Skinner, 13 July 2019, lot 167. Also, for the Kadison Collection pair reference, Robin Reilly, 'Wedgwood', Vol. I, color pl. C108.

Exhibitions: Mint Museum, Charlotte, North Carolina, 'Classic Black: The Basalt Sculptures of Wedgwood and His Contemporaries', 9 February 2020 - 3 January 2021, exhibition catalogue, no. 65

Literature: Brian Gallagher, ‘Classic Black’, op. cit., exhibition catalogue, p. 186, no. 65.
Estimate $3,000-5,000

Sold for $1,500.00

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