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Design for a Table Ornament

Stefano Della Bella

* 1610 in Florence † 1664 in Florence

Pen and brown ink, over an underdrawing in black chalk. Size of sheet: 17.7 x 8 cm.

Design for a Table Ornament: A Saltcellar(?) in the Form of a Child Resting on a Bundle of Wheatstalks, Holding a Platter. 

Watermark: Fragmentary.

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He was apprenticed to a goldsmith, and also received training in etching from Remigio Cantagallina.The present sheet may be compared stylistically to a number of ornamental drawings by Stefano della Bella, such as a design for A Saltcellar in the Form of a Mermaid Holding a Shell in a private collection in Chicago (1), or a design for a monstrance in the Louvre (2). Similar drawings for table ornaments by the artist are also in the Louvre (3), the Royal Collection at Windsor Castle (4), the Uffizi (5) and elsewhere.

1. London, Guy Peppiatt Fine Art and Stephen Ongpin Fine Art, One Hundred Drawings and Watercolours, exhibition catalogue, 2007-2008, no.12a.

2. Inv. 418; Françoise Viatte, Musée du Louvre: Cabinet des dessins. Inventaire général des dessins italiens II: Dessins de Stefano della Bella, Paris, 1974, p.121, no.179, illustrated p.122.

3. Inv. 414-2 and 411-1; Ibid., p.121, no.183, illustrated p.125 and pp.130-131, no.188, respectively, to take two examples.

4. Inv. 4587, 4585 and 4604; Anthony Blunt, The Drawings of G.B. Castiglione & Stefano della Bella in the Collection of Her Majesty the Queen at Windsor Castle, London, 1954, p.95, nos.45-47, respectively, one illustrated pl.16.

5. Inv. 1042 orn; a design for table ornament, with triton blowing a conch shell and seated on a fish. A photograph of this drawing is in the Witt Collection at the Courtauld Institute of Art in London.

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