The Belvedere Apollo, after the antique, late 19th century
Lot 1395W
Property of various owners
An Italian white marble figure: The Belvedere Apollo
after the antique
Ferdinando Vichi (Italian, 1875-1945)
late 19th century
Sold for US$ 37,500 inc. premium
Lot Details
Property of various owners
An Italian white marble figure: The Belvedere Apollo
after the antique
Ferdinando Vichi (Italian, 1875-1945)
late 19th century
Apollo is depicted as an archer, having just killed the Python of Delphi. The carved figure displays the tension lingering as if the arrow has just left his bow. Standing on an oval base inscribed F. Vichi, Firenze, Made in Italy
height 68in (192cm; width of base 26in (66cm); depth 16in (41cm)


  • After the original, now in the Vatican Museum, the Belvedere Apollo has defined the Greek aesthetic ideals of harmony, noble simplicity and quiet grandeur.

    Adolph Henrich Joseph Sutro was born in Prussia on April 29, 1830. He made a fortune building tunnels during the California Gold rush. He then moved to San Francisco and increased his wealth by turning to Real Estate. His investments included such iconic San Francisco places as Land's end (which include Lincoln Park and the current Cliff House ) and of course the Sutro Baths. Although he served as San Francisco's 24th Mayor he is perhaps best remembered for the landmarks that bear his name.

    Sutro also had a passion for collecting. His library which was destroyed in the 1906 fire was said to be the largest private library in the world. His compulsion for collecting reflected a keen intellect with eclectic tastes.

    In 1896 he built a new house – a seven story Victorian which became known as "the Gingerbread Palace" below his estate on the bluffs of Sutro Heights. Here his collector's eye returned to the Classical and he lined the bluffs around his house with an array of Mythological and Iconic statues creating the effect of a Greek temple. In keeping with his populist view Sutro opened his home and the grounds to the public on Sunday. Vistors included local working families, the cities social elite as well as three US Presidents.

    Sadly, when Sutro died in 1898 he had lost his fortune. In the thirties, the Whitney family took possession of the Cliff House and in the 70's when they closed Playland and Sutro Baths they decided to offer the public an opportunity to own a bit of San Francisco history from these memorable sites as well as what was left from the original collection acquired by Adolph Sutro.

    The sale began on January 22, 1971 at the Cliff House and lasted eleven days . According to an article in the San Francisco Examiner dated Jan 15, 1971 "Egyptian mummies, an Alaskan kayak, bathing suits used at the 1900 Sutro natatorium, marble statues..." were on sale. Those lucky enough to participate were indeed able to preserve a piece of history as evidenced in the offered lots.
  1. Jeffrey Smith
    Specialist - European Furniture and Works of Art
    220 San Bruno Avenue
    San Francisco, 94103
    United States
    Work +1 415 503 3413
    FaxFax: +1 415 503 3300