A pair of Venetian style cast iron firedogs
Lot 2
Style of Andrea Riccio, Italian (1470-1532) A pair of 19th century bronze and iron andirons
Sold for £4,000 (US$ 6,214) inc. premium

Lot Details
A pair of Venetian style cast iron firedogs A pair of Venetian style cast iron firedogs A pair of Venetian style cast iron firedogs
Style of Andrea Riccio, Italian (1470-1532)
A pair of 19th century bronze and iron andirons
The spirally turned uprights surmounted by bronze figures of seated Satyrs, holding cups in their left hands, raised on pierced scrolling bases, 122cm high

Footnotes

  • The present andirons are surmounted by bronze figures of satyrs in the style of the important Paduan Renaissance sculptor, Andrea Briosco, known as Riccio.
    The depiction of these satyrs is typical of his work. They are shown raising a toast with cup in hand, as satyrs were notoriously lazy, lecherous creatures who spent their time drinking and romancing. Although these andirons date to the 19th century, Riccio's workshop produced similar figures for the same purpose in the early 16th century, to ornament every day functional objects such as inkwells, oil lamps, candlesticks, door knockers and andirons.

    During the 19th century, Pagan and Bacchic themes such as the satyr enjoyed a resurgence and Riccio's work was once again celebrated and collected. This led to 19th century manufacturers producing casts of his works as well as their own pieces in his style. For example, a similar seated satyr holding a candle nozzle in his left hand and also dating to the 19th century is now in the Fitzwilliam Museum. Interestingly, the example in the Fitzwilliam was bequeathed by Leonard Cunliffe and has been dated to the second half of the 19th century by Victoria Avery (Inv no. M.2-1938).
    Another similar 19th century satyr is in the Victoria and Albert Museum, and is catalogued as possibly French. It is a 19th century cast with modifications of one figure of a group by Riccio which is in the Musee National de la Renaissance, Ecouen. (Inv no. A.11-1958).

    For a genuine example of a seated satyr by Riccio see the Robert H. Smith Collection, Recent Acquisitions made to the Robert H. Smith Collection of Renaissance Bronzes, Burlington Magazine, London, pages 20-26.
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