VENETO-BYZANTINE, CIRCA 9TH CENTURY
LARGE ARCHITECTURAL PANEL WITH A CROSS
Istrian stone, with Rosso di Verona marble inlay
100 by 170cm., 39⅜ by 66⅞in.
Overall the condition is good with dirt and wear to the surface consistent with age. The panel would once have been in an architectural setting. As such, the sides and reverse are roughly hewn and there are cement residues. The white stone has a series of surface natural inclusions and veins. There are also cement or plaster residues (possible restoration) to the grooved decoration and veins to the front and to the joints in the inlay. There are old restored fractures to the rosso di verona inlay, particularly at the central panel at the corners and emanating from the cross. There are a few losses and chips to the edges, particularly to the upper edge. There are some minor abrasions to the upper surface.
"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."
La Raccolta dell 'Antichita' Fiorillo, Semenzato Casa d'Aste, Viterbo, 21-24 September 2010, lot 3033;
Barbara Piasecka Johnson;
her sale, Christie's South Kensington, 24 February 2015, lot 204
W. F. Volbach, Mittelalterliche Bildwerke aus Italien und Byzanz, cat. Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Berlin and Leipzig, 1930
This impressive architectural panel is likely to have formed a balustrade panel or altar front in a church. The motif of a cross framed by intertwined geometrical patterns is a characteristic feature of Byzantine and Italo-Byzantine art around the 9th century. Compare several architectural stone fragments from Rome and Venice published in Volbach (op. cit., nos. 6365, 2759, 2923, the latter showing a similar lozenge-shaped design). The use of vibrant red 'Verona marble' (limestone) to enliven the composition indicates an origin in the Veneto.