This is a truly stunning antique pair of Italian Grand Tour black marble and slate ormolu mounted colonnade temple models, dating from the mid 19th century.
This pair of colonnades feature domed topped roofs surmounted by ormolu flaming finials with classical gilt figural relief to the frieze, held up by six ormolu mounted Corinthian columns framing a central gilt dancing maiden in each. They are raised on circular stepped marble bases lined with ormolu underneath.
This pair was made during the period of cultural exploration of Classical Antiquity and the Renaissance. Architectural models were made as souvenirs for travelling aristocrats, and the tradition of making these temples and colonnades continued into the 20th century.
The attention to detail here is remarkable and this truly beautiful pair of temple statues are sure to receive the maximum amount of attention wherever placed.
In excellent condition, please see photos for confirmation.
Dimensions in cm:
Height 34 x Width 16 x Depth 16
Dimensions in inches:
Height 13.4 x Width 6.3 x Depth 6.3
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: A1572