Here is an fine late 19 C. marble or alabaster statue (signed on the back "G. Mascagni")of an attractive young woman holding some roses and resting on the edge of a fountain. She seems to be gazing reflectively rather than with an expression of rapture or grief that sentimental Victorian artists usually favored.
The fountain on which she is perched is a colossal head of some water or weather god (Neptune? Posieden?)spewing water from his mouth. The romantic setting, naturalistic modeling and attention to detail impart an arresting quality to the piece. It is a larger, more ambitious work than normally encountered in drawing room statuary (30" tall and weight about 100 lbs), which makes one wonder if it weren't originally intended for a garden or solarium. However, there is no evidence of outdoor exposure---loss of detail, excessive staining, etc. The shallow basin atop the rugged plinth may have originally held a fountain or lamp aparatus, but there are no holes for pipes or wires, so we cannot say for certain.
The figure and plinth are sculpted from one solid piece of white stone mellowed by time to a buttermilk color. It sits atop a fitted block of slightly grayer-colored marble. Condition-wise, it would be hard to hope for better in an old piece---no traumatic cracks, missing limbs, etc.. the vulnerable right foot has been broken and professionally reattached, and possibly the nose chipped and repaired.
Because of the weight and extreme delicacy we would suggest picking the statue up here in Richmond, VA. Crating and shipping is expensive. Personal delivery could possibly be arranged on the east coast. Inquire.
For additional assistance call:
Alvin Whiteside (804) 859-4000 or 804 212-4547
Period Furnishings, Fine Art & Artifacts,
Originally established as a Richmond store, Cary is now selling exclusively online through Ruby Lane!