Lot 14
  • 14

Early 20th Century European Tabernacle Frame designed by Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema and made by Thomas Maw for Carcalla: AD211

15,000 - 20,000 USD
bidding is closed


together with a replica of a 19th century European tabernacle frame, applied ornament and gilded (two pieces)


Allen Funt, New York (by 1969)
Thence by descent to the present owner

Catalogue Note

As suggested by the inscribed title and monogram of the present frame, it was designed by the artist himself and made by his framer Thomas Maw, London, for Carcalla: AD211 (op. CCLXX, 1902, Vern G. Swanson, The Biography and Catalogue Raisonné of the paintings of Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema, London, 1990, no. 404, location unknown).  After its debut at The Royal Academy in 1902, Carcalla was selected for exhibition at the St. Louis World's Fair in 1904.  The present work is offered with a later reproduction frame made for Catullus Reading His Poem at Lesbia’s House (op LXXX, 1870, Swanson, no. 121, location unknown).

The present and following lots belonged to Allen Funt, creator of the popular prank television show Candid Camera. Beginning in the 1960s, Funt, acquired a significant number of Lawrence Alma-Tadema’s masterworks. Funt exhibited thirty-five of the artist’s compositions in a landmark show at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in 1973 before offering them at auction at Sotheby’s, Belgravia on November 6, 1973.  Before the sale, Funt had photographic reproductions  made so that they could remain hanging in the original frames kept in his home as a reminder of, he explained, his “love affair with these wonderful paintings” (Allen Funt with Philip Reed, Candidly Allen Funt, a Million Smiles Later, New York, 1994, p. 97).  While several of Funt’s Alma-Tademas have come to auction in recent years (most notably The Finding of Moses sold in these rooms on November 4, 2010  for $36 million), others remain held by private collections or are currently unlocated.

We would like to thank Vern G. Swanson for providing additional catalogue information.