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An Exquisite Giallo Antico Tazza of Unusual Square Section With Finely Carved Interior Attributed to Benedetto Boschetti #3018

An Exquisite Giallo Antico Tazza of Unusual Square Section With Finely Carved Interior Attributed to Benedetto Boschetti 

Italy Circa1820-40


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

This piece is a tour de force of marble carving and is as notable for the finishing of the inside of the piece as it is the outside. The relatively unusual square section of the bowl has an everted egg and dart carved rim and below this is exceptional foliate carving. The bowl is reeded and striated and then tapers to an egg and dart collar. The outspreading steam is carved with fluting and a petal edge. 

The tazza has four handles situated in the centre of each side and these are of relatively restrained form. The handles are of geometric section rather than round and have carved collars. They are attached to the sides of the bowl with leaf terminals.

Viewed from above, the interior of the bowl is a combination of carved muldings and floral paterae. The carver has also made full use of the exquisite veining in the marble to create contrast between the various areas. The centre of the bowl incorporates petal edge carving in high relief and then a beautifully fluted section which is centred on another exquisite patera in particularly high relief.

The main body of the tazza is executed in Giallo Antico but the base is in contrasting Marmo Africano of exquisite, but contrasting figuring. The final section of the base is Verde Antico and provides yet more contrast for a very rich decorative effect. The various sections of the plinth employ subtle edge mouldings which are typical of the attention to detail evident in the best grand tour pieces of this era and which help to set this piece apart from lesser examples.

This fine tazza has all of the hallmarks of the Boschetti workshop based 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.

Professional restoration to the bowl has been undertaken likely to strength the marble veining being almost invisible to the eye.

A tazza of a similar model was exhibited at the Masterpiece Fair by Thomas Coulborn and Sons and according to their cataloguing at the time, Sir Nicholas Penny mentioned that another version of this piece, larger in scale, is in the State Hermitage Museum in Russia.

Width: 10 inches - 25cm
Height: 13 3/4 inches - 35cm
Depth: 10 inches - 25cm

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