An unusual pair of Victorian marble revolving topped pedestals. One marked ‘Forced Lesson’, one marked ‘Forced Prayer’.
These beautiful pedestals were clearly designed to hold sculptures with the titles of the works inscribed on the stems. The fact that the pedestals, and therefore the related artworks, were clearly made as a pair has allowed us to research them and we are delighted to have discovered that, at the Melbourne International exhibition in 1880, Pietro Bazzanti and Son of Florence exhibited two artworks with the names Forced Prayer and Forced Lesson (items 338 and 339).
Another artist also exhibited a piece titled Forced Prayer at the same exhibition but Forced Lesson is a very unusual title and, as stated before, the fact that the pieces were clearly intended to be a pair reinforces the attribution of provenance in this case.
These fine pedestals are a very practical and usable size and the carved swag and star detailing are very desirable attributes. They would make a fine pair of display stands for vases or sculptures or even to hold jardinieres in a hallway or conservatory.