ANTIQUE GRAND TOUR ORMOLU & BRONZE INKWELL
Height: 6 inches / 15 cm
Width: 5 inches / 12.5 cm
Stock number: GD6991/0121
A lovely quality antique early 19th century French ormolu and patinated bronze grand tour inkwell, of sarcophagus form. The lid is modelled with a kneeling cupid with four quill holders. The base of the inkwell is decorated with a panel depicting the ‘Triumph of Galatea’. Galatea, a Nereid or sea Nymph, of Sicilian origin, loved a handsome youth called Acis, thereby arousing the jealous wrath of Polyphemus, a monstrous one eyed giant, one of the Cyclopes, who in a rage threw a boulder at Acis, killing him. In celebration of her undying love, the Triumph of Galatea depicts her riding in her sea chariot, a cockleshell drawn by dolphins, while tritons blow conch shell trumpets in her honour. Lifting up the lid reveals two glass inkwells, a sander and a lift out tray. French
This is undoubtedly modelled after the famous Arrotino (the “Blade-Sharpener”) sculpture (with cupid taking the place of the sharpener) which is thought to have been made in the 1st century, and was unearthed in the early 16th century, and bought by the Medicis and is now in Florence. It was known as the Scythian. It is thought to be a figure from a group representing the Flaying of Marsyas and is a Hellenistic-Roman sculpture (Pergamene school) of a man crouching to sharpen a knife on a whetstone. Now known to be a copy of an earlier Hellenistic sculpture.