Featured Carved plaque...... V&A ......excitement!!!!

Discussion in 'Antique Discussion' started by 808 raver, Jun 20, 2019.

  1. 808 raver

    808 raver Well-Known Member

    Well this is my third instalment on this continuing saga, sorry :( After a long road of research to find out the artist (maybe) and contacting a well known auction house only to find they wanted £2000 to get the piece authenticated (after me doing all the legwork) I got fed up and decided to take a rest on the piece. Now I have taken the plunge, I've found out that the V&A run a free "opinion" service, just write what you know and take some pictures and if they can help they will give you their "opinion". Now I've not used this service before and I'm not too sure how easy this will go but for those who have a piece that maybe something good it's worth a try without spending a fortune.
    For those who haven't followed this saga, I believe this piece is by Pietro Giusti of Siena c1860 but yet to have it confirmed or ruled out.
    I realise that the photos I have shown before didn't really show the fantastic detail so here are some close ups.
    When the V&A get back to me I'll do another post to let you know how things went.
    20180317_134456 (2) (Medium).jpg Image00002.jpg Image00009.jpg Image00015.jpg Image00007.jpg
     
  2. Michael77

    Michael77 Well-Known Member

    Beautiful piece! Somethings are really hard to search out. Don't quit you'll get there.
     
  3. 808 raver

    808 raver Well-Known Member

    Thank you, yes I was never going to quit, it's clearly a good piece but finding out who carved it took 2 years.
     
  4. Bronwen

    Bronwen Well-Known Member

    Oh, I remember this. Would fall to Holly Trusted's department to evaluate. Think they would never commit to an authentication, unless they happen to have someone on board who is really an expert on Giusti, but may tell you if there is anything about it that rules Giusti out. When I asked several museums who owned work by the same engraver about a cameo of mine, answers were consistently 'Can't authenticate but looks right for the time period.' If you had not already got there yourself, they may have helpfully told you it is in the style of Giusti.
     
    scoutshouse, KSW, cxgirl and 5 others like this.
  5. 808 raver

    808 raver Well-Known Member

    I'm half hoping that they contact the library in Italy as Giusti's wife left a record of his work, it's a long shot I know but the V&A employed Giusti when he was alive and I'm hoping they see it as a feather in their cap for finding a lost work by him. If it's in Giusti's records (he left around 360 detailed drawings) then they will be able to confirm with some confidence.
     
  6. Bronwen

    Bronwen Well-Known Member

    Sounds like they are the best English speaking source. They have a terrific cameo collection, but no longer anyone on staff who is an expert in them. Hope you'll connect with someone who is interested & knowledgeable. They may have info in the records they keep that will be useful, even if person who accesses it is not a specialist in this area. Do keep us informed. :)
     
  7. 808 raver

    808 raver Well-Known Member

    Thank you, I will. Perhaps I'm hoping for too much but if they do confirm there is no better confirmation
     
  8. Any Jewelry

    Any Jewelry Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the update and new photos, raver, it really is stunning! Hope you get good news.

    Just wondering, could the small moth/butterfly medallion on a bow be some kind of maker's mark? It is on the left hand side, next to the bird's head. There could be one on the other side as well.
    upload_2019-6-21_10-21-56.jpeg
     
  9. 808 raver

    808 raver Well-Known Member

    Hi Any, Yes it does have one on the other side and I did think it was some kind of makers mark and I have found one on a box attributed to one of giusti's pupils but you can clearly see from the carving the difference between the master and school. I will try and find the pic and you will see what I mean Image00004.jpg
     
  10. 808 raver

    808 raver Well-Known Member

  11. 808 raver

    808 raver Well-Known Member

  12. Any Jewelry

    Any Jewelry Well-Known Member

    Yes, I see a cute little moth sideways.
    So now someone will have to find Giusti's maker's mark and see if it is the same as yours. So far I only know his Italian pieces were inscribed 'Sienna' and the year.
    I am sure someone on the forum can find it. @i need help , @Debora? I know I am forgetting some brilliant searchers.:sorry:
     
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2019
  13. ulilwitch

    ulilwitch Well-Known Member

    The moth/butterfly looks like a firefly to me. Might make a difference. I don't know.
     
  14. 808 raver

    808 raver Well-Known Member

    Half the problem is the plaque is very dirty, it's been hanging over a open fire for many years in it's past so there is coal tar residue all over it, I don't really want to try and clean it in fear I'll do damage but it hides a lot of the detail. I'm resigned to knowing if it isn't in Giusti's records then it might just be classified as a 19thc Italian carving thus reducing it's value. If that's the case then so be it, I like having it on the wall but if it's worth £10,000's then I'm not wealthy enough to justify keeping it, a new bathroom is well needed lol. I hold on to the knowledge that the piece has a good age, I have many antiques and this piece looks to me nearer 1850 than 1880+ which would put it earlier than school. I don't understand Italian and lots is lost in translation as I've found out when I spoke with the university that Giusti worked at when I was doing my research before, what we managed to glean was it resembles plate 140 in Giusti's records but we didn't get any names or titles with the people we spoke with so contacting the Siena municipal library and asking them to look in the "Memoir of Memories" (the 3 volumes of Giusti's work left by his wife) might be a nightmare, if the V&A contact them they might just have someone who speaks Italian and being the V&A they will probably take them more seriously. For me, it's not so much the money (although it would come in handy) it's finding the lost work or ruling it out
     
  15. Any Jewelry

    Any Jewelry Well-Known Member

  16. 808 raver

    808 raver Well-Known Member

    Thanks, if I need to (which I might) I'll use that, often Google translated text gets the literal meaning and not whats implied. I've had a message from the V&A saying the department who deals with that inquiry are very busy and it could take 21 days to get a reply so it maybe awhile until I post an answer
     
  17. Any Jewelry

    Any Jewelry Well-Known Member

    We'll be here.:)
     
    Christmasjoy, judy, Bronwen and 2 others like this.
  18. Bronwen

    Bronwen Well-Known Member

    Could be a maker's mark, or, if a commission, something related to family of customer, the way the Barberinis used a bee:

    [​IMG]

    If they are that sort of device, the Italian words for moth & butterfly both start with F; the word for firefly starts with an L. The word for bee starts with A, but not a very good representation, if that is what was meant. I was liking the idea of firefly, but, being beetles, they look very different:

    [​IMG]

    I'm going to go with moth. Could just be a snack for the birds.
     
  19. 808 raver

    808 raver Well-Known Member

    I have tried going down the makers mark being the bees and all variations of that and came up with nothing. My thoughts are (after years of looking) the most probable artist is Giusti, I've found no other carver who has as many related themes in their work to the piece I own, also Giusti didn't sign all of his work, I read he made over 600 works in his life but I can only find a few on the internet (less than ten) and only 3 of those are signed, and even then only with "PG Siena" so I'm afraid it will be all down to if my one is documented in the papers his wife left.
     
  20. Bronwen

    Bronwen Well-Known Member

    Just to clarify, central medallion is also wood?

    [​IMG]
     
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