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Collections Sale / A NORTH ITALIAN ISTRIAN MARBLE WELLHEAD Venetian and probably 15th or 16th century

THE SELECTED CONTENTS OF A MANX COUNTRY HOUSE
Lot 355
TP
A NORTH ITALIAN ISTRIAN MARBLE WELLHEAD
Venetian and probably 15th or 16th century
28 June 2022, 10:00 BST
London, Knightsbridge

Sold for £8,670 inc. premium

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A NORTH ITALIAN ISTRIAN MARBLE WELLHEAD

Venetian and probably 15th or 16th century
Modelled as a capital, each corner carved with a lion mask with garlands of fruit, 72cm wide, 72cm deep, 60cm high (28in wide, 28in deep, 23 1/2in high)

Footnotes

The shape of a Venetian wellhead is no coincidence, with early examples made by hollowing out ancient capitals from fallen columns; a shape that continued as the demand for fresh water in Venice increased. In 1797 it is understood that 6000 wells were recorded in Venice and, during the Grand Tour, they became desirable objects for aristocratic souvenir hunters who would ship them back to their gardens. Many are still in place, including at Iford Manor, Hearst Castle, California, Fullbeck Hall and Hever Castle. Comparative examples can also be found in the Metropolitan Museum (Accession Number: 14.134.26a, b) and an example carved with lion masks in the Victoria and Albert Museum (Accession Number: 88-1882).

The majority of Venetian wellheads were made of Istrian stone, a dense, non-porous variety of limestone that was shipped to Venice from Istria (formerly part of the Venetian Republic, now Croatia).

Additional information