A comprehensive collection of nine Grand Tour portrait bust medallions of Emperors, dating from the late 18th Century.
The medallions are each of oval form and are cast with individual classical heads of Emperors in profile. They are superbly mounted and arranged in their original giltwood display frame, which is carved in relief with acanthus, foliate and floral decoration.
In excellent condition, please see photos for confirmation.
Dimensions in cm:
Height 24 x Width 18 x Depth 6
Dimensions in inches:
Height 9 inches x Width 7 inches x Depth 2 inches
The Grand Tour was the traditional trip around Europe, often lasting three to four years, undertaken by the wealthy upper-class English during the 16th and 17th century. Their prime interest was to visit cities that were considered major centres of culture; Paris, Rome, Venice, Florence and Naples were popular destinations.
During the 18th and 19th century, the opportunity to take the “Grand Tour” spread from the aristocracy to the new industrial and professional elites, tourist destinations such as Rome shifted their attention from the privileged class to meeting the travel needs of the monied middle-class, including a healthy souvenir trade.
Souvenir engravings of tourist attractions began to appear everywhere. In addition to albums of engraved views, “the Grand Tour offered another very popular type of travel souvenir, the now nearly forgotten cameos. The taste for these engraved antique gems was revived as part of the classical revival and later reproduced as miniature plaster casts. Mounted in faux book bindings, these plaster cameos provided a minutely detailed cabinet of neoclassical knowledge and art.
Charles James Fox (24 January 1749 – 13 September 1806), styled The Honourable from 1762, was a prominent British Whig statesman whose parliamentary career spanned 38 years of the late 18th and early 19th centuries and who was the arch-rival of William Pitt the Younger.
Our reference: A1869