A PAIR OF LARGE SCALE ITALIAN CARVED RED EGYPTIAN PORPHYRY OVAL VASES ROME, 18TH CENTURY
A PAIR OF LARGE SCALE ITALIAN CARVED RED EGYPTIAN PORPHYRY OVAL VASES ROME, 18TH CENTURY
A PAIR OF LARGE SCALE ITALIAN CARVED RED EGYPTIAN PORPHYRY OVAL VASES ROME, 18TH CENTURY
A PAIR OF LARGE SCALE ITALIAN CARVED RED EGYPTIAN PORPHYRY OVAL VASES ROME, 18TH CENTURY
A PAIR OF LARGE SCALE ITALIAN CARVED RED EGYPTIAN PORPHYRY OVAL VASES ROME, 18TH CENTURY
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Property from a European Private Collection

A PAIR OF LARGE SCALE ITALIAN CARVED RED EGYPTIAN PORPHYRY OVAL VASES ROME, 18TH CENTURY

Estimate: 100,000 - 150,000 GBP

Property from a European Private Collection

A PAIR OF LARGE SCALE ITALIAN CARVED RED EGYPTIAN PORPHYRY OVAL VASES ROME, 18TH CENTURY

Estimate: 100,000 - 150,000 GBP

Description

Property from a European Private Collection

A PAIR OF LARGE SCALE ITALIAN CARVED RED EGYPTIAN PORPHYRY OVAL VASES ROME, 18TH CENTURY


the oval shaped vases with half fluting and gadrooning to lower part of body, on spiralled socles, one socle replaced and of faux porphyry composite

49cm. high, 91cm. wide, 78cm. deep; 1ft. 7¼in., 2ft. 11¾in., 2ft. 6¾in.

Condition Report

These spectacular vases are in good conserved condition and are ready to be placed.


VASE ONE

The vase shows extensive old restorations. It has been broken into multiple fragments – approximately 20. The restorations to the vase are sound and fairly well blended – especially on the interior surface. Some of the external break lines are less filled and/or unevenly rubbed down to blend. Some small pieces of porphyry have been spliced in to fill losses and other losses are filled with composite and painted to porphyry effect. The majority of the material is porphyry. Some natural hairline fissures to material. Some chips overall. Scuffing all around rim where stored/moved upside down.


Its socle has been replaced with one fashioned in a cement based composite topped with wooden lug to fit vase. The composite socle has a terrazzo-like profile and is painted to a porphyry effect . There are restorations to the top moulding of the composite material, well blended.


VASE TWO

The vase shows extensive old restorations. It has been broken into multiple fragments – approximately 10. The restorations to the vase are as VASE ONE, overall sound but with some uneven filling and/or rubbing down to blend. Same hairline fissures and composite fillers. Same scuffing to the rim.


Its socle is porphyry. One break to end of base, section stuck back on but not filled and blended. Large chip to top lug which fits vase – so not visible when assembled.


"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."

Other



Provenance

Bernard Steinitz, Paris

Literature

Dario Del Bufalo, Porphyry, Red Imperial, Power and Religion, 2012, p. 155, V120.

Exhibited

Biennale des Antiquaires, Paris, 2007.

Catalogue Note

These spectacular vases are rare survivals not only for their impressive scale but also for being a pair. Egyptian porphyry, as a material, stopped being quarried in Ancient times, and its use from the Renaissance onwards was possible by reclaiming the material from Ancient monuments ruins, particularly columns. The sheer size of these pieces reveals the scale of the columns from which they were carved and the herculean effort that would have been involved in transporting those from Egypt in Roman times. They are made of the best quality of this material - latinatto - with the white speckles evenly spread out on the purple ground. 


Inspired by the classical navette shape, these oval vases are finely polished with the imposing body well balanced on the elegant and unusually spiraled socle. Dario del Bufalo, in his seminal monograph Porphyry, has dated the present lot as 18th century, which is in line with their more classical appearance and less baroque spirit. A drawing from the Duc d'Aumont Collection sale catalogue shows a yellow marble vase in the sale - acquired by Julliot for Louis XVI - with a comparable design with stop-fluting to its lower section and slightly flared lip (Duc d'Aumont sale, 12 Decembre 1782, p.18, pl.20; fig.1). Another vase, in the Palazzo del Quirinale, recalls their oval shape and has the socle with straight fluting, a very rare element in vases of this material (see Bufalo, p.154, V115) (fig.2).


Nevertheless, 17th century Italian examples give us the best comparisons for some of the individual ornamental elements. The spiralled fluting, as seen in ours, can be seen in the magnificent pair of vases at Chiswick House, acquired by Lord Burlington in Rome in 1715. A vase ordered from Rome by Louis XIV and delivered to him in 1685 (Musée du Louvre, Inv. no. MR2842 OA9230) displays the same use of stop-fluting to the lower body of the vase and of spiralled fluting to the upper section.

A PAIR OF LARGE SCALE ITALIAN CARVED RED EGYPTIAN PORPHYRY OVAL VASES ROME, 18TH CENTURY
Property from a European Private Collection
A PAIR OF LARGE SCALE ITALIAN CARVED RED EGYPTIAN PORPHYRY OVAL VASES ROME, 18TH CENTURY
Lot Closed