ITALIAN, 17TH/18TH CENTURY
30 by 42cm., 11¾ by 16½in.
Overall the condition of the terracotta is very good, with minor dirt and wear to the surface consistent with age. There is some restoration, with residues, visible between the two wings; this may be a restored break or retouching. There are a few small chips, including to the edges of the wings. There are some yellowish residues to the proper right cheekbone. There is an apparently reinforced minor stable firing crack to the proper left side of the skull.
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.
NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING CONDITION OF A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD "AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF SALE PRINTED IN THE CATALOGUE.
C. Ricasoli, in The Living Dead: Ecclesiastes through Art, exh. cat., Paderborn, 2018, no. III.1, pp. 126-127
Washington D.C., Museum of the Bible, The Living Dead: Ecclesiastes through Art, 2017-2018
The present terracotta is likely to have been made as a model for a marble winged skull, to be placed on a monument or tomb. Skulls were very popular features in Baroque art, and were modelled with great realism - including the protruding cheekbones and some even with missing teeth - as on the present skull. Compare also with a skull and crossbones, sold in these rooms, 10 December 2015, lot 402.