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Italy, Naples, second quarter 19th century

Provenance: The Berkeley Family, Spetchley Park, Worcestershire Whilst three generations of the Berkeley family completed Grand Tours, these models were most likely acquired by Robert Berkeley (1794-1874) in 1823 or 1845 or by his son Robert Martin Berkeley (1823-1897) in 1842-1843.

This is one from a rare collection of models which have, until recently, remained in the same family, whose ancestors acquired them in Naples in the first half of 19th century. They were predominantly souvenirs of The Grand Tour but Sir John Soane also used them as teaching aids; to enable his students to examine Classical architectural design without having to travel abroad. Soane often used them to illustrate his lectures at the Royal Academy, and to convince clients of the value of a design. Soane accumulated a collection of miniature buildings made out of cork which are still housed in ‘The Model Room’ of the Soane Museum. Such models were also popular with the public in London, who flocked to see exhibitions of celebrated structures from around the world in miniature form.

The ‘Model of the Paestum Tomb’ in the Soane Museum’s collection is attributed to Domenico Padiglione (Museum number: M1088). Made from cork and stucco, it is larger than our ‘Model of the Paestum Tomb’. The Soane Museum website’s listing for this model comments that: ‘Excavations outside the city walls of Paestum uncovered a series of particularly richly decorated and furnished tombs and this model is a synthesis of several of these sepulchres. The interior is adorned with paintings and decoration from a number of monuments taken from the cemeteries outside Paestum. As with the other tombs on display here, this model also contains a miniature burial along with a selection of grave goods. Again, these were based on actual archaeological finds’.

Domenico Padiglione was employed as the official model maker of the Royal Museum in Naples in 1806, using cork as his chief material as it was found very suitable for rendering the weathered stone of the temples. He worked to produce models to form a ‘Gallery of Models of Ancient Monuments’ in the Naples Museum and his models remained on view until the 1840s. Padiglione worked with his sons Agostino and Felice, but the family did not sign their work. Padiglione also led the Cork Model Workshop at the Museo Borbonico for more than twenty years The Workshop was open between 1777-1859 and is now known as Museo Archeologico Nazionale di Napoli. Padiglione’s workshops made copies for private sale to Grand Tourists despite the fact that his contract forbade it.

Dimensions

Height: 18 cm Width: 18 cm Depth: 26.5 cm

Price on application



Stock number

6765c
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The BADA Standard

  • Since 1918, BADA has been the leading association for the antiques and fine art trade
  • Members are elected for their knowledge, integrity and quality of stock
  • Our clients are protected by BADA’s code of conduct
  • Our dealers’ membership is reviewed and renewed annually
  • Bada.org is a non-profit site: clients deal directly with members and they pay no hidden fees
Click here for more information on the BADA Standard