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Giulio Romano (1499 - 1546)

Lot 69: A RENAISSANCE-STYLE JEWELLED AND ENAMELLED GOLD-MOUNTED ROCK-CRYSTAL BIBERON IN THE FORM OF A TORTOISE

Christie's

December 14, 2000
London, United Kingdom

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Description

Circa 1870 On oval enamelled base with coloured gemstone collets, with scrolling black enamel between, the carapace enclosed in black and white enamel strapwork set with similar collets, the head with enamelled gold collar, cabochon ruby eyes and terminating in a spout with hinged pierced cartouche-shaped cover enamelled in various colours with strapwork, the feet with pendant pearls, in later fitted velvet-lined wood case inscribed on brass plaque Tortue Cristal the tortoise, 10 in. (25.5 cm.) long PROVENANCE As lot 1. Rothschild inv. no. E.de R.259. EXHIBITION Paris, Mus‚e de l'Orangerie, Les Chefs-d'oeuvre des Collections fran‡aises retrouv‚s en Allemagne par la Commission de R‚cup‚ration artistique et les Services alli‚s, 1946, no. 200, description by C. Dreyfus. NOTES The basic form of this biberon is reminiscent of a design for a silver dish and cover by Giulio Romano (1492-1546) now in the collection of Christ Church, Oxford (illus. in Y. Hackenbroch, 'Reinhold Vasters, Goldsmith', Metropolitan Museum Journal, Vol. 19-20, 1984-5, p. 216, fig. 105). The grotesque mask forming the cover in the drawing was also possibly the inspiration for the covers of a number of ewers thought to be designed by Vasters (see Y. Hackenbroch, op.cit., pp. 213 and 216, figs. 104 and 106).

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