Other oil lamps of this composition are known and present two different means of support, either resting on a base or suspended from a loop. This is a particularly fine cast of the former type and it was illustrated by Planiscig in 1927 (op.cit.) mounted on a raptor’s talon, a form of mount usually associated with Severo Calzetta de Ravenna.
The earliest-recorded cast (loop-suspension type) was listed in an inventory taken in 1584 of statues belonging to Duke Alfonso II d’Este, as 'believed to be modern', i.e. not ancient Roman. However, by the late 18th century these oil lamps were frequently regarded as ancient bronzes. Bernard de Montfaucon, the French antiquarian, illustrated three of them (op.cit., pl. 152), remarking that 'the three following lamps on this plate…seem made to show either what the workman, or he who commanded the work, could possibly imagine most odd and extravagant, and do not want any further explanation.' A loop-suspension example in the Bargello, Florence, was drawn by Fragonard who later included it in the foreground of The Tribuna of the Uffizi Gallery, the celebrated depiction commissioned by Queen Charlotte of Great Britain and Ireland in 1772.
B. de Montfaucon, L’antiquité expliquée et representée en figures, Paris 1719, V, II, pl. 152; G. Mariacher, Bronzetti veneti del rinascimento, Venice, 1971, pp. 29-30, no. 79
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