About Me

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No Fixed Abode, Home Counties, United Kingdom
I’m a 51-year-old Aspergic CAD-Monkey. Sardonic, cynical and with the political leanings of a social reformer, I’m also a toy and model figure collector, particularly interested in the history of plastics and plastic toys. Other interests are history, current affairs, modern art, and architecture, gardening and natural history. I love plain chocolate, fireworks and trees but I don’t hug them, I do hug kittens. I hate ignorance, when it can be avoided, so I hate the 'educational' establishment and pity the millions they’ve failed with teaching-to-test and rote 'learning' and I hate the short-sighted stupidity of the entire ruling/industrial elite, with their planet destroying fascism and added “buy-one-get-one-free”. I also have no time for fools and little time for the false crap we're all supposed to pretend we haven't noticed, or the games we're supposed to play.

Thursday, March 8, 2018

E is for Exquisite Emperor

As well as the twelve tazze we looked at yesterday, Brian also sent a couple of shots of this, which I far prefer, despite the Met's website being slightly dismissive of the likely (it's not 100% clear or known) maker, Reinhold Vasters of Aachen, Germany.

To quote the Met's website description in full;

"This Silver Caesars-inspired statuette was probably made by Reinhold Vasters, a nineteenth-century goldsmith famous for his forgeries of Renaissance objects. Vasters evidently admired the tazze - his personal collection included copies of the Augustus and Vitellius dishes. It is likely that he also manufactured the six replacement feet added to the tazze in the late nineteenth century."

Made of finely carved marbles and other semi-precious stone, the joins (which I suspect - with no evidence - are peg-and-hole with grout) hidden by finely wrought, gilded, silver-work, which - as well as hiding the joins - will also hold the pieces in place., flush against each other?

I'm not so convinced that this is necessarily inspired by the twelve Caesars as just a wider part of the Enlightenment's look back at the Renaissance's own referring back to the splendor of Rome (and Greece) as it was seen by the 'modern' men of those ages, where the monumental statuary was the 'big puller'.

A few samples of marble similar to those used on the Caesar, including the green and red stone which I believe is called blood-stone, as used on his kilt, a fine Calcutta/caramel-yellow (onyx?) similar to, but paler than the sample his breast-plate is carved from, the cherry-yogurt pink comes in various hues, our little marble having large flecks of black in it (probably another version of Bloodstone), while the statuette's own shirt-sleeves and cloak are flecked with paler grey splotches; the plinth pink having white flecks and striations.

Note also that the decorative fringe of his belt was once fully enamelled in a rich, translucent apple-green, now mostly flaked-away.

I couldn't find a green to match the main-body of the plinth, it looks like the same stuff they cut signet-rings and seals from (they also used bloodstone, but tended to use purer-red pieces for small works) while the boots seem to be the same near-all-black as the black in the above group, infused with white, fern-like fronds or 'ice-crystals', you also get streaks or spots; his left boot has one running across the front of the ankle, and it's not far-removed from the Carrara we were looking at a year ago - but it's not an exact science; they will all be Italian stones though.

Metropolitain Museum of Art - from the other side

The exhibition has been made possible by The Schroder Foundation, Selim K. Zilkha, the Anna-Maria & Stephen Kellen Foundation, Nina von Maltzahn, and an anonymous donor.

I'm very grateful to Brian for sending us these, it's nice to have a bit of up-market content on the blog, and to see what we might be adding to the collection after we crack that all-important 'becoming a multi-millionaire' ceiling!

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