ATTRIBUTED TO GIANFRANCESCO SUSINI
After Giambologna (1529-1608)
bronze, on an ebonised wood base
height of bronze: 9.9cm., 3⅞in.; overall: 16cm., 6¼in.
Cast in Florence, first half 17th century.
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Overall the condition is very good with minor dirt and wear to the surface consistent with age, including some dust in the crevices. There appears to be a small repair to the bottom of the flute element and a small loss to the proper left little finger. A few very minor nicks and scratches.
The lot is sold in the condition it is in at the time of sale. The condition report is provided to assist you with assessing the condition of the lot and is for guidance only. Any reference to condition in the condition report for the lot does not amount to a full description of condition. The images of the lot form part of the condition report for the lot provided by Sotheby's. Certain images of the lot provided online may not accurately reflect the actual condition of the lot. In particular, the online images may represent colours and shades which are different to the lot's actual colour and shades. The condition report for the lot may make reference to particular imperfections of the lot but you should note that the lot may have other faults not expressly referred to in the condition report for the lot or shown in the online images of the lot. The condition report may not refer to all faults, restoration, alteration or adaptation because Sotheby's is not a professional conservator or restorer but rather the condition report is a statement of opinion genuinely held by Sotheby's. For that reason, Sotheby's condition report is not an alternative to taking your own professional advice regarding the condition of the lot.
The present bronze is a particularly fine cast of the Seated Bagpiper, one of Giambologna’s most popular designs. The earliest reference to the model dates from 1611, when a Bagpiper was recorded to have been sent by Grand Duke Cosimo II de’ Medici to Prince Henry of Wales. It has been suggested that the pastoral motif is derived from an engraving of the subject by Albrecht Dürer, dated 1514. The gilt bronze cast in the Bargello, Florence is considered to be the prime version.
With its crisply modelled details, the punch work of the tree trunk, and the rich brown patina with traces of a translucent reddish-gold lacquer, the present cast bears the hallmarks of Gianfrancesco Susini, the nephew of Giambologna’s collaborator, Antonio Susini. The Galleria Colonna, Rome owns a cast of the bagpiper by Gianfrancesco Susini that is mentioned in an archival document from 1630-1632. Further comparable casts are held in the Victoria and Albert Museum, London (inv. no. A.59-1956) and in the Liechtenstein collection.
Charles Avery, Anthony Radcliffe (eds.), Giambologna 1529-1608. Sculptor to the Medici, exh. cat. Royal Scottish Museum, Edinburgh, and Victoria and Albert Museum, London, 1978, nos. 135-136; Die Bronzen der Fürstlichen Sammlung Liechtenstein, cat. Liebieghaus, Frankfurt, 1986, p. 183; Catalogo della Galleria Colonna in Roma. Sculture, Rome, 1990, p. 299