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A Huge Italian Grand Tour Rosso Antico Marble Tazza Attributed to Benedetto Boschetti Mid 19th Century #3015

A Huge Italian Grand Tour Rosso Antico Marble Tazza Attributed to Benedetto Boschetti Mid 19th Century

Italy - Probably Rome Circa 1840-50


The private collection of Will Fisher, antique dealer and connoisseur and the founder of Jamb Ltd

This beautiful marble tazza is carved almost entirely from Rooso Antico marble, the exception being the base section which is made from contrasting Grand Antico instead. The tazza has an egg and dart carved outspreading rim of campagna design, with wrythen snake form naturalistic handles which twist over themselves in the most virtuosic fashion. Designing the handles alone would have required the skills of a master craftsperson. The body of the tazza is strongly gadrooned and then to the front and back there are Medusa masks, the Gorgon illustrated in fearsome detail with her snake hair overlapping her forehead. The masks are carved in very high relief and are quite wonderfully detailed.

The stem of the tazza has further egg and dart carving at the top, followed by a rare plain and undecorated section which leads to a leaf carved collar. Underneath the collar the stem spreads outwards forming a foot with fluted and ribbed detailing. This then sits upon a block plinth, attached to another much larger pedestal of the same marble. Another plinth is attached below, with a curved edge moulding to join the two, and the aforementioned Grand Antico base to finish.

Producing a piece of marble carving of this size and quality would have required the skills of a highly experienced workshop and the most likely source of this piece is the Boschetti family's premises on the via Condotti in Rome, established around 1820. Benedetto Boschetti died in 1870 but for some 50 years was perhaps the most highly respected of the artisans who supported the Grand Tour trade, producing masterful works in bronze and marble for both the international and domestic markets. This piece was likely made c.1840 at the height of the Boschetti workshop's powers and would have been affordable to only the grandest and most high profile of clients.

A tazza of almost entirely the same design but executed in Siena marble was sold at Sotheby's on the 11th of December 2020, lot 47. This piece was also attributed to Boschetti. Pieces by and attributed to the Boschetti workshops are in some of the finest museum and private collections such as a pair in the National Trust house Hinton Ampner, purchased by the great collector Ralph Dutton. Our piece is a truly world class piece of marble carving that would enhance even the grandest of collections.

Width: 29 inches - 73.5cm
Height: 30 3/4 inches - 77.5cm
Depth: 29 inches - 73.5cm

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