Francesco Bertos, Italian (1678-1741) An 18th century Paduan bronze vessel with four putti

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Lot 8
Francesco Bertos, Italian (1678-1741)
An 18th century Paduan bronze vessel with four putti

Sold for £ 31,200 (US$ 41,587) inc. premium

Sculpture

15 Apr 2008, 14:00 BST

London, New Bond Street

Francesco Bertos, Italian (1678-1741)
An 18th century Paduan bronze vessel with four putti
supported on three dragon’s heads, 25cm high (10" high)

Footnotes

  • Provenance:
    American Educational Institution (sold Parke Bernet Galleries, New York, October 28, 1967, lot 32 (bought by Christian Humann, New York?); Sotheby Parke Bernet, May 21-22, 1982, lot 240 (purchased by Rosenberg & Stiebel, Inc., New York); Private collection of Mr. and Mrs. Eric Stiebel.

    Literature:
    J. D. Draper in The Jack and Belle Linsky Collection in the Metropolitan Museum of Art: Addenda to the Catalogue, in Metropolitan Museum Journal, 21, 1986, pp. 164-65, note 3; C. Avery, The Triumph of Motion: Francesco Bertos and the Art of Sculpture, Turin, 2008, cat. no. 186 [in the press]

    This receptacle it is typical of Bertos’s production. It consists of a shell on three dragon feet surmounted by four putti: a winged one, representing Fame, holding a trumpet and laurel wreath and shown standing on the knee of another, who is seated on the rim. Two smaller putti look up admiringly from either side, one holding a serpent (Eternity), and the other a wand or pointer. The bent rod in the hand of the recumbent putto may originally have been straight, but has since been bent back out of the way for safety’s sake. If not, it may have been intended as a hook on which to hang something. There is a circular socket at the back, possibly for the pepper, and a hook to hang a spoon.

    It is not unlike an example from the Linsky Collection and now in the Metropolitan Museum, New York (Avery, cat. no. 185), though it is only two thirds of the height. Bertos made a number of these, rather similar, multi-purpose objects, whether they be desk-sets, with receptacles for ink, sand etc, in the Veneto-Paduan tradition (dating back to Severo Calzettta da Ravenna); or ‘salts’ (i.e. cruets with receptacles for the pepper); or sweetmeat dishes (a novelty perhaps more in keeping with 18th century habits).
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