A Rare Pair of Wax Busts of an African Girl and Boy

A Rare Pair of Wax Busts of an African Girl and Boy

1890 to 1920 continental

Offered by Herwig Simons

Sold
Request Information Call Dealer
Favourite Item
During the Italian Renaissance, modeling in wax took a position of high importance, and it was practiced by some of the greatest of the early masters. The bronze medallions of Pisanello and of the other famous medalists owe their value to the properties of wax: all early bronzes and metalwork were cast from wax models first.

The famous wax bust attributed to Leonardo da Vinci acquired in 1909 by the Museum of Berlin is the work of an English forger who worked about 1840. The wax model of a head, at the Wicar Museum at Lille, belongs probably to the school of Canova, which robs it of none of its exquisite grace.

There are a number of very high quality wax figures from the 16th and 17th centuries, mostly portrait figures and religious or mythological scenes, often with many figures. Antonio Abondio (1538-91) pioneered the coloured wax portrait miniature in relief, working mainly for the Habsburg and other courts of Northern Europe, and his son Alessandro continued in his footsteps.

Towards the close of the eighteenth century, modeling of medallion portraits and of relief groups, the latter frequently polychromatic, was in considerable vogue throughout Europe. Many of the artists were women. John Flaxman executed in wax many portraits and other relief figures which Josiah Wedgwood translated into pottery for his Jasperware. The National Portrait Gallery has forty wax portraits, mostly from this period.
The properties of Beeswax make it an excellent medium for preparing figures and models, either by modeling or by casting in molds. At ordinary temperatures, it can easily be cut and shaped; it melts at a low temperature; it mixes with any coloring matter, and takes surface tints well; and its texture and consistency may be modified by the addition of earthy matters and oils or fats. When molten, it is highly responsive to impressions from a mold, and once it sets and hardens its form is relatively resilient against ordinary temperature variations, even when it is cast in thin laminae.
Dimensions
Height 23.00 cm (9.06 inches)
Herwig Simons

Herwig Simons
Rue Watteeu 27
1000 Brussels
Belgium

+32 4 75 46 75 46
+32 475 46 75 46
Favourite Dealer
Request Dealer Alerts
Opening Hours
Contacts
View Dealer Location
Member Since 2009
Members of
View Full Details