The composition of the present relief follows that of the marble roundel with the Madonna and Child crowning the Tomb of Barbara Manfredi
in the Church of San Mercuriale in Forli carved by Francesco di Simone Ferrucci around 1465. The Virgin holds the drapery at her stomach whilst supporting the Christ Child at his buttocks with her left hand as he tousles with the ends of her veil. The composition is seen again on the Tomb of Gianfrancesco Olivio
in the Church of San Francesco in Montefiorentino of 1478-1480 and a marble lunette in the Rijksmuseum Amsterdam dated to circa 1456-1470 by Pisani (inv. no. BK 16975, op.cit.
, figs. 40-41). According to Vasari, Ferrucci was born in Fiesole and trained under Verrocchio before establishing himself in Florence and supplying sculptures for many churches in the surrounding countryside. The marble relief of the Virgin and Child by Verrocchio in the Palazzo Communale in Solarolo does indeed seem to be a predecessor of the present composition.
L. Pisani, Francesco di Simone Ferrucci. Itinerari di uno scultore fiorentino fra Toscana, Romagna e Montefeltro, Florence, 2007, figs. 39-41 and 76
The present lot is offered with a thermoluminescence analysis report from Oxford Authentication Ltd dated 8 May 2014 stating that the sample (No: N114d16) was last fired between 300 and 600 years ago.