A Venetian patinated bronze inkwell and cover, circle of Niccolo Roccatagliata (1593-1636), early 17th century, the domed and acanthus cast cover modelled with a standing deity, possibly Neptune, standing beside a dolphin, above a lobed basin raised on figural feet cast as men seated on cushions, circa 14cm high overall
Provenance: from the Estate of the late Betty, Lady Grantchester
A related inkwell, with similarly lobed basin and feet modelled as seated males, is illustrated in W. Bode, The Italian Bronze Statuettes of the Renaissance, de Reinis, New York, 1980, p. 25, illustration 31. There described as 'Style of A. Vittoria', and as being in private possession.
The deity standing contrapposto with hand leaning on an elongated dolphin recalls the model of 'Venus Marina' by Venetian sculptor Girolamo Campagna (see for example Metropolitan Museum Accession number 68.141.19). A large inkwell with figural feet and a version of this female deity and dolphin, was sold at Christie's London, 5 July 2007, lot 25 (£8,400).
The patina is a rich reddish brown. Minor marks, knocks and scratches overall consistent with age. The feet have hollow cast rear.
There is a crack near the rim of the basin, mostly visible to the interior.
Small circular opening to one of the seated males' chest, due to casting, and there is loss of definition to the standing deity. There is also radial movement between the deity and the cover, the cover interior is a little irregular in shape. Tiny loss to a corner of one of the cushions.
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