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UK APHA Registration of an ivory item Submission reference: D99UXPKP W.118cm D.61cm H.82.4cm
LOT ESSAY BY DR. ARABELLA CIFANI
The scene is taken from a drawing that the English sculptor and draftsman, John Flaxman(1755–1826), made to illustrate the passages of Homer's Iliad, a commission proposed to him in 1791 by Georgiana Hare-Naylor while he was living in Rome. Here is represented a rare episode, with Polydamas, a character from Greek mythology soothsayer, adviser and valiant warrior, friend and lieutenant of Hector, who fought in the Trojan War and who, in the twelfth book of the Iliad, advises Hector not to cross a dangerous moat that was part of the defence at the Achaean port and also advises Hector not to continue the siege. Hector will not listen to him and will face death at the hands of Achilles (Homer Iliad 12.60).
‘’Then verily Polydamus drew nigh to Hector, and spake, saying: “Hector, and ye other leaders of the Trojans and allies, it is but folly that we seek to drive across the trench our swift horses; hard in sooth is it to cross, for sharp stakes are set in it, and close anigh them is the wall of the Achaeans.’’ Homer - Iliad 12.60
John Flaxman, sculptor and draftsman, a leading proponent of English neoclassicism, created 34 drawings for Homer's Iliad in Rome in 1793, which were engraved on copper for the first time in Rome by Tommaso Piroli in 1793 ("L'Iliade et the Odyssée d'Homère gravéepar Thomas Piroli d'après les desseins composés par John Flaxman. 94 gravures ", Francesco Romero publisher, Rome, 1793). The meeting Flaxman and Piroli was a happy union, sealed by a public success that also provoked real acts of editorial piracy. "The reprints followed one another in various original editions or copies of the branches in different European cities, attesting to the vast success achieved from Flaxman's inventions masterfully translated and propagated with the burin of Piroli. Two years later, the plates for "The Iliad" were republished in London. In 1805, publishers Longman, Hurst, Rees and Orme printed new editions of both series, including eleven extra illustrations commissioned from Flaxman (five for "The Iliad" and six for "The Odyssey").
The style of the ivory inlay perfectly reflects the spirit of Flaxman's engraving, the figures in fact retain their taste for graffiti, which was an absolute novelty at the time. Flaxman avoided the background landscape, setting and detail, focusing on figures rendered with pure outlines. It has long been known that Flaxman drew on and synthesized a wide variety of visual sources in the development of his outline illustrations, combining classical figuration from "Etruscan" reliefs, sculptures, engravings and vases with forms derived from medieval and early Renaissance sources, life studies and observational sketches of daily Italian scenes and characters. Flaxman's style of illustration has been discussed and celebrated by a multitude of critics across Europe and has had a demonstrable influence on artists such as Ingres, Goya and Blake.
The cabinet is also enriched with other ivory inlays, representing divinities and allegories, including the allegory of Hope and Faith.
GORRINGE’S are grateful to Dr. Cifani, for her identification of John Flaxman’s designs, used in the ivory inlays on this desk.
Overall a little evenly faded to a light walnut tone with old dents, small losses and splits throughout commensurate with age, ivory inlay looks to be mostly complete but some small losses notably to the right side of the top, the doors to the drawers are fitted with English locks but no escutcheons suggesting the later addition of the veneers, cupboard doors have Italian locks but no key, lower front right corner is broken with the foot now come loose, minor dents and scuffing elsewhere around the base.
W.118cm D.61cm H.82.4cm
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1.It is our policy to charge the Buyer all costs involved to cover our expenses relating to the payment of royalties under the Artist Resale Right Regulations 2006. You agree that we may add such amount to the purchase price.
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13. Collection and storage. Please note what the Conditions of Sale state about collection and storage. It is important that goods are paid for and collected promptly. Any delay may involve the buyer in paying storage charges. Where practical and upon receipt of payment clearing will be permitted during and immediately following the sale and for the following week during office hours. Please note that it is the responsibility of the buyers to ensure that any lot purchased is complete as at the time of collection from the saleroom. The Auctioneers can take no responsibility for any item or items found to be damaged or missing after the lot has been removed from the saleroom.
14. Artist's Re-Sale Right
From mid February 2006 living artists are entitled to receive a re-sale royalty each time their artwork is bought or sold by an art market professional. This new law has been introduced in the UK following a European directive. Works sold for a sum of 1000 euros (approximately £680) or more will be subject to the following additional charge as per the scale rate shown below. This will be charged to the buyer of any eligible lots and will be based on the hammer price. Lots that may potentially incur this charge will be announced from the rostrum.
Portion of the sale price Royalty Rate
From 0 to 50,000 euro 4%
From 50,000.01 to 200,000 euro 3%
From 200,000.01 to 350,000 euro 1%
From 350,000.01 to 500,000 euro 0.5%
Exceeding 500,000 euro 0.25%
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IT IS STRONGLY ADVISED FOR ALL BIDDERS TO REQUEST A CONDITION REPORT PRIOR TO BIDDING, WE MAKE NO GUARANTEES ABOUT CONDITION ON ANY ITEM WITHOUT REFERENCE TO A PREVIOUSLY REQUESTED CONDITION REPORT.
AUCTION - We will be starting at 09:30 with lot 1
VIEWING - Viewing will take place from Friday 24/06/22 - 28/06/22 (CLOSED ON SUNDAY)
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