This is a beautiful antique Italian Grand Tour gilt bronze model of the Warwick vase, C 1860 in date.
This stunning bronze is superbly cast and has a superb gilt patina. The vase features egg and dart rim, bifurcated vinestock handles and the body is cast with masks of Bacchus and Hercules between two satyrs, with the pelt of the Nemean lion below, and raised on a circular spreading base with a fixed liner.
The attention to detail throughout this piece is second to none and this high quality bronze is made from the lost wax process ‘cire perdue’.
In excellent condition. As an antique item its show signs of use commensurate with age, these minor condition issues are mentioned for accuracy and, as seen in the accompanying photographs, the bronze displays beautifully.
Dimensions in cm:
Height 22 x Width 34 x Depth 23
Dimensions in inches:
Height 8.7 x Width 13.4 x Depth 9.1
The Warwick Vase was found in fragments by Gavin Hamilton in 1769–1770 digging in the silts of Lake Pantanello in the grounds of the Villa Tiburtina, the villa of the Roman Emperor Hadrian outside Rome. It was restored in 1772–1774 by Grandjacquet to designs by Piranesi for Sir William Hamilton, who gave it to George Greville, Earl of Warwick. The Vase stood in the courtyard of Warwick Castle for almost two centuries until it was purchased for The Burrell Collection in 1979. A monumental marble sculpture in the form of a two-handled drinking cup, it is decorated with acting masks and motifs relating to the cult of the Roman god of wine, Bacchus (the Greek god Dionysos).
The Vase was one of many fine sculptures with which Hadrian (who ruled the Roman Empire from 117 to 138) adorned the gardens of his palatial villa. The Dionysian imagery of many of these sculptures evoked the pleasures of life enjoyed through good wine and feasting. Since its rediscovery the Warwick Vase has been a major source of inspiration for the Neo-Classical school in the decorative arts in Britain.
The Grand Tour was the traditional trip of Europe undertaken by mainly upper-class European young men of means. The custom flourished from about 1660 until the advent of large-scale rail transit in the 1840s, and was associated with a standard itinerary.
It served as an educational rite of passage. Though primarily associated with the British nobility and wealthy landed gentry, similar trips were made by wealthy young men of Protestant Northern European nations on the Continent, and from the second half of the 18th century some South American, U.S., and other overseas youth joined in. The tradition was extended to include more of the middle class after rail and steamship travel made the journey less of a burden.
The primary value of the Grand Tour, it was believed, lay in the exposure both to the cultural legacy of classical antiquity and the Renaissance, and to the aristocratic and fashionably polite society of the European continent. In addition, it provided the only opportunity to view specific works of art, and possibly the only chance to hear certain music. A grand tour could last from several months to several years. It was commonly undertaken in the company of a knowledgeable guide or tutor.
The Grand Tour not only provided a liberal education but allowed those who could afford it the opportunity to buy things otherwise unavailable at home, and it thus increased participants’ prestige and standing. Grand Tourists would return with crates of art, books, pictures, sculpture, and items of culture, which would be displayed in libraries, cabinets, gardens, and drawing rooms, as well as the galleries built purposely for their display; The Grand Tour became a symbol of wealth and freedom.
Our reference: 08881