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Sale IT209 Lot 2001

ENGLISH BLACK BASALT RHYTON-EWER MODELED AS A CLASSICAL HEAD late 18th Century, unmarked, attributed to Wedgwood, recorded as shape no. 196, based on a drawing commissioned by the antiquarian Cassiano dal Pozzo (1588-1657), with trefoil mouth, the upright strap handle with palmette terminal, modeled as a classical youth with curled short hair held with a tied fillet headband suspending a beaded bulla pendant, truncated at the neck, h: 11 1/2 in.

Provenance: Skinner, Boston, 14 July 2018, lot 383.
Jeffrey Milkins Collection, no. 929.

Catalogue Note:
Only three black basalt examples of this form are known. For the Mr. and Mrs. Isaac Falcke Collection example now in the British Museum, see, Aileen Dawson, 'Masterpieces in the British Museum', accession no. 1909,1201.106, p. 42, no. 1909-1201-106; Diana Edwards, 'Black Basalt', p. 92; and Robin Reilly, 'Wedgwood Vol. I', p. 473, pl. 681. For the Frank K. Sturgis Collection example see, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, accession no. 32.95.14; and Brian Gallagher, 'Classic Black: The Basalt Sculpture of Wedgwood and His Contemporaries, p. 97, no. 22. Both the British Museum and Metropolitan examples are marked Wedgwood and K. The letter K is associated with modeler Keeling, but no direct evidence has linked him to the model. In addition to the Pozzo album drawing (now in the Royal Collections at Windsor Castle, inv. no. 11174), a potential source for the form is an Antique 4th Century BCE bronze head found in Gabii now in the Louvre Museum, Paris, no. Br 2955. It was made in the Etruscan city Orvieto and may in turn potentially be based on Greek terracotta examples from the 5th Century BCE.

An X-ray fluorescence (XRF) report from the Birmingham Museum of Art accompanies this lot. The results are consistent with Wedgwood examples of the period. The report illustrates high peaks for iron and manganese and no trace of the element cobalt.
Estimate $15,000-20,000

Sold for $13,000.00

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