ATTRIBUTED TO WILLIAM BROWN (1748-1825)
ENGLISH, LATE 18TH/ EARLY 19TH CENTURY
INTAGLIO WITH HERCULES
carnelian, in a gold ring mount
stone: 2.6cm., 1in.
ring size: T
Overall the condition of the intaglio is very good with minor dirt and wear to the surface consistent with age. The gold appears to have been altered where the hoop joins with the intaglio mount. There may be some small losses to the mount to the reverse. There are minor nicks and scratches to the gold.
"In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective, qualified opinion. Prospective buyers should also refer to any Important Notices regarding this sale, which are printed in the Sale Catalogue.
NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF BUSINESS PRINTED IN THE SALE CATALOGUE."
The present intaglio is very close to impressions by James Tassie (no. 15320) and William Tassie (nos. 1928 and 1929) which are recorded as being by William Brown. The latter impressions are double portraits but there is a clear compositional similarity particularly with no. 1929 in the arrangement of the lion skin and paw. William Brown was a significant English gem engraver who exhibited at the Royal Academy between 1770 and 1830. His most important patron was Catherine the Great of Russia, but he also counted George Prince of Wales (later George IV) as one of his patrons. See the intaglio sold in these rooms on 10 December 2015, lot 433. William Brown worked with his brother Charles (1749-1795) first in Gloucester Street and then in Pall Mall from 1776. There is a trade-card for the brothers at 4 Pall Mall from 1781 in the British Museum (inv. no. D,2.2249). Brown exhibited the subject of Hercules a number of times at the Royal Academy but the present intaglio does not appear to have been one of them.