A superbly cast antique Italian Grand Tour ormolu figure of a Roman soldier, circa 1850 in date.
The soldier is armed with a raised sword, dressed in traditional costume with a fine portrait shield at his side and stands on a rectangular belge noir marble base.
This high-quality hot cast solid bronze was produced using the traditional "lost wax" process, otherwise known as the "cire perdue" method.
The craftsmanship is second to none throughout all aspects of this sculpture and it is sure to add an unparalleled touch of elegance to your home.
In excellent condition, please see photos for confirmation.
Dimensions in cm:
Height 23 x Width 9 x Depth 6.5
Dimensions in inches:
Height 9 inches x Width 3 inches x Depth 3 inches
Our reference: 09685
The Grand Tour was the traditional trip of Europe undertaken by mainly upper-class European young men of means. The custom flourished from about 1660 until the advent of large-scale rail transit in the 1840s, and was associated with a standard itinerary.
It served as an educational rite of passage. Though primarily associated with the British nobility and wealthy landed gentry, similar trips were made by wealthy young men of Protestant Northern European nations on the Continent, and from the second half of the 18th century some South American, U.S., and other overseas youth joined in. The tradition was extended to include more of the middle class after rail and steamship travel made the journey less of a burden.
The primary value of the Grand Tour, it was believed, lay in the exposure both to the cultural legacy ofclassical antiquityand theRenaissance, and to the aristocratic and fashionably polite society of theEuropeancontinent. In addition, it provided the only opportunity to view specific works of art, and possibly the only chance to hear certain music. A grand tour could last from several months to several years. It was commonly undertaken in the company of a knowledgeableguideortutor.
The Grand Tour not only provided aliberal educationbut allowed those who could afford it the opportunity to buy things otherwise unavailable at home, and it thus increased participants' prestige and standing. Grand Tourists would return with crates of art, books, pictures, sculpture, and items of culture, which would be displayed in libraries,cabinets, gardens, anddrawing rooms, as well as the galleries built purposely for their display; The Grand Tour became a symbol of wealth and freedom.
Ormolu -(from French 'or moulu', signifying ground or pounded gold) is an 18th-century English term for applying finely ground, high-caratgoldin amercuryamalgamto an object ofbronze.The mercury is driven off in akilnleaving behind a gold-coloured veneerknown as'gilt bronze'.
The manufacture of true ormolu employs a process known as mercury-gilding orfire-gilding, in which a solution ofnitrate of mercuryis applied to a piece ofcopper,brass, or bronze, followed by the application of anamalgamof gold and mercury. The item was then exposed to extreme heat until the mercury burned off and the gold remained, adhered to the metal object.
After around 1830 because legislation had outlawed the use of mercury other techniques were used instead.Electroplatingis the most common modern technique. Ormolu techniques are essentially the same as those used onsilver, to producesilver-gilt..
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