Bronze door-knocker in the form of a naked figure of Neptune standing on a shell between two sea-horses with dolphin-like tails covered in acanthus leaves and curving upwards to meet the head of the god; their tails support a crowned shield with the three fleurs-de-lis of France differenced by a bend.
This object was collected by Anselm von Rothschild and bequeathed to the British Museum by Ferdinand Anselm Rothschild.
Mark: Christoph Erhard (altered 1800s)
What is it?
leaf heraldry myth / legend classical deity fish Poseidon/Neptune
How big is it?
30 cm wide, 38 cm high, 23.5 cm deep, and it weighs 11.3 kg
Where is it?
London / The British Museum / Room 2A / Case 3a 10
Detailed Curatorial Notes
Provenance: Baron Anselm von Rothschild, Vienna, by 1866 (cat no. 173), by inheritance to his son Baron Ferdinand Rothschild (d. 1898).
Commentary: There are many versions (although none feature a shield) but the closest comparisons are:-Harvard Art Museum (Fogg Museum), inv. no. 1953.41 attributed to Alessandro Vittoria, formerly in the collection of Nathaniel de Rothschild, and National Trust Collections online, inv. no. 514968 (at Anglesey Abbey, Cambridgeshire) after Alessandro Vittoria.
- Charles Hercules Read, 'The Waddesdon Bequest: Catalogue of the Works of Art bequeathed to the British Museum by Baron Ferdinand Rothschild, M.P., 1898', London, 1902, no. 3
- O.M. Dalton, 'The Waddesdon Bequest', 2nd edn (rev), British Museum, London, 1927, no.3.
- Read 1902: Read, Charles Hercules, The Waddesdon Bequest. Catalogue of the Works of Art Bequeathed to the British Museum by Baron Ferdinand Rothschild, M.P., 1898, London, BMP, 1902
- Dalton 1927: Dalton, Ormonde Maddock, The Waddesdon Bequest : jewels, plate, and other works of art bequeathed by Baron Ferdinand Rothschild., London, BMP, 1927
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