The Wallace Collection

The Wallace Collection, A Family Collection, A National Museum, An International Treasure House
Kneeling boy holding up a shell
  • Italian School , 17th century (Rome), model
  • Kneeling boy holding up a shell
  • France
  • probably mid 18th century (cast)
    mid 17th century (model)
  • Statuette
  • Heavy, brassy alloy. Lost-wax cast with reddish-brown patina. Hair and terrain bases punched. On gilt-bronze base.
  • Statuette, Height: 26.4 cm
    Base, Height: 4.4 cm
  • S203
  • Oval Drawing Room
Commentary
History
Images & Media
Further Reading
  • From a group of four small bronze figures in the Collection, all of which show infant boys or putti playing a variety of musical instruments (the others, S202, S204 and S205, blowing into a double conch shell, playing the flute, and playing the triangle respectively).

    The models for the figures seem to have originated in Rome, in the circle of sculptors such as Alessandro Algardi (1595 – 1654) and François Duquesnoy (1597 – 1643), but these casts were almost certainly made, and mounted on their bases, in France around the middle of the eighteenth century.

    As there are substantial differences in the body-type of the figures between the two pairs, and since S204 and S205 have drapery acting as cache-sexe, missing here and in S202, it is possible that models of different origin were brought together.

    Cast as pairs or quartets and often also incorporated into designs for candelabras, examples of these bronzes began to appear in sale catalogues in Paris from 1767.