An early 17th century Venetian gilt metal plaquette depicting the Virgin and Child / Charity
Lot 4
A Venetian late 16th / early 17th century gilt copper and bronze relief depicting an allegory of Charity
£5,000 - 8,000
US$ 8,100 - 13,000

Lot Details
A Venetian late 16th / early 17th century gilt copper and bronze relief depicting an allegory of Charity
centred by bas-relief depiction of a mother suckling a baby, with a further baby to her right, raised on a bulbous cloud base, with a domed canopy above decorated with a strap-work cartouche and tassles, flanked by a pair of winged putto pulling back fringed curtains to reveal the scene below, the back plate etched with C-scrolls and foliage and mounted with a strapwork cartouche centred by an oval glazed panel, the panel inscribed QVTTE CREAVIT PROBIDE LACTASTIS ACROVBE, mounted in an ebony veneered and gilt metal mounted frame, 43cm high, 29cm wide (16.5" high, 11" wide)

Footnotes

  • The original function of this rare relief is still unknown. The inscribed oval panel within the stippled ground cartouche may once have been detachable, which would explain the small tongues above and below the panel. However there is no sign to the reverse of the panel that there was ever an aperture behind to insert offerings. The inscription is a Latin quotation from a 6th century hymn by Venantius Fortunatus (A.S. Walpole, "Early Latin Hymns", Cambridge, 1922 (reprinted Hildesheim 1966), pp. 198-99, Hymn 39, lines 21-24. Roughly translated it reads He [God/Christ] who created you [Mary], you [Mary] gave suck to worthily .
Auction information

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