A pair of Italian Romanesque style marble recumbant lion columns and capitals in the 12th century taste

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Lot 1609W
A pair of Italian Romanesque style marble recumbant lion columns and capitals in the 12th century taste

US$ 5,000 - 7,000
£ 3,600 - 5,000
Early Works of Art from the William Rockhill Nelson Trust and the Nelson Gallery Foundation,
Sold by Order of the Trustees of the William Rockhill Nelson Trust, Kansas City, Missouri
A pair of Italian Romanesque style marble recumbant lion columns and capitals in the 12th century taste
probably 19th century
Each spiral column crowned by a Romanesque style capital of tapering rectangular form, one carved with acanthus and fluting, the second carved with palmette and laurel bands supported on a pair of lions, each carved in the Byzantine style with wide set eyes carved on the plane of a flat muzzle with small neat ears and curled flowing manes, the heads turned dexter or sinister above a prey, probably a ram and lamb, caught between articulated forepaws, the tails curled about the haunches on later rectangular fitted base.
height 42 1/2in (1.08m); length 33in (84cm); depth 10in (25cm)

Footnotes

  • These figures and columns are typical of similar 12th century Italian lion form column supports. There has been much research and discussion concerning the dating of this pair. Their rectangular form and stylized features are in the Romanesque style and according to an undated note in the museum files, they once formed the support of the main altar of a parish church at Campobasso until the church was demolished in 1920.

    According to Dr. Marilyn Stokstad, distinguished professor, University of Kansas, the misunderstood stylization of the forms, the extreme rectangularity of the heads and muzzles and the vertical line following through the forehead to the nose, suggests they are of a much later date. According to museum files, Dr. Dorothy Glass, State University of New York at Buffalo and Dr. Holger Klein, Columbia University share this opinion. The offered pair are also listed in Romanesque Sculpture in American Collections, New York and New Jersey, Middle and South Atlantic States, the Midwest, Wester and Pacific States, edited by Walter Cahn, published by Brepols, 1999. They are illustrated and listed among Romanesque sculpture of Doubtful Authenticity.

    Provenance:
    Purchase of the Nelson Trust, 1941. Jacob Hirsh & Co, New York
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