Plaster intaglios were marketed in Italy during the 18th and 19th centuries as souvenirs for wealthy American and English tourists, usually young men, as keepsakes of their European Grand Tour holidays. The small plaster medallions were mounted into books and each medallion was numbered and documented with handwritten numbered notations telling which city or which attraction they had visited. Popular in the neoclassical period, and once regarded as a signal of wealth, Intaglios have been admired for hundred of years.
Visit Europe today and you are likely to come home with tasteless souvenirs whereas in the 18th century, the great age of the large and imposing country house, young men returned and transformed the decor and furnishings of their families’ country seats with their acquisitions with many became insatiable collectors.
This is a good opportunity to acquire such a large collection, which when grouped together in this way, lifts any wall from monotony to marvel in a blink of an eye.