Antique Bronze of Gaius Mucius Deseine circa 1880
Antique Bronze of Gaius Mucius Deseine circa 1880
Antique Bronze of Gaius Mucius Deseine circa 1880
Antique Bronze of Gaius Mucius Deseine circa 1880
Antique Bronze of Gaius Mucius Deseine circa 1880
Antique Bronze of Gaius Mucius Deseine circa 1880
Antique Bronze of Gaius Mucius Deseine circa 1880
Antique Bronze of Gaius Mucius Deseine circa 1880
Antique Bronze of Gaius Mucius Deseine circa 1880
Antique Bronze of Gaius Mucius Deseine circa 1880

Antique Bronze of Gaius Mucius Deseine circa 1880

c. 1880 France

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This is a stunning antique bronze sculpture of a mythological Gaius Mucius Scaevola, c.1880 in date. The bronze bears the signature of the renowned French sculptor Louis Pierre Deseine, Musee du Louvre and would have been purchased on the Grand Tour.

Gaius Macius was a proud Roman famous for his bravery.

The bronze presents Gaius Mucius thrusting his right hand into a fire which had been lit for sacrifice.

The attention to detail is absolutely fantastic and the sculpture is extremely life-like.

The piece rests upon an attractive rouge griotte marble base.


In excellent condition, please see photos for confirmation of condition.

Dimensions in cm:

Height 37 x Width 17 x Depth 16 & Weight 4 kg

Dimensions in inches:

Height 14.6 x Width 6.7 x Depth 6.3 & Weight 8.8 lbs
Gaius Mucius Scaevola was a Roman youth, famous for his bravery.

In 508 BC, during the war between Rome and Clusium, the Clusian king Lars Porsena laid siege to Rome. Mucius, with the approval of the Roman Senate sneaked into the Etruscan camp and attempted to murder Porsena. It was the soldiers' pay day. There were two similarly dressed people on a raised platform talking to the troops. He misidentified Porsena and killed Porsena's scribe instead.

Mucius was captured, and famously declared to Porsena: "I am Gaius Mucius, a citizen of Rome. I came here as an enemy to kill my enemy, and I am as ready to die as I am to kill. We Romans act bravely and, when adversity strikes, we suffer bravely." He also declared that he was the first of three hundred Roman youths who volunteered to assassinate Porsena at the risk of their own lives.

"Watch this," he declared. "so that you know how cheap the body is to men who have their eye on great glory." Mucius thrust his right hand into a fire which was lit for sacrifice and held it there without giving any indication of pain, thereby earning for himself and his descendants the cognomen Scaevola, meaning 'left-handed'. Porsena, shocked at the youth's bravery, dismissed him from the Etruscan camp, free to return to Rome saying "Go back, since you do more harm to yourself than me". At the same time, the king also sent ambassadors to Rome to offer peace.

Mucius was granted farming land on the right-hand bank of the Tiber, which later became known as theMucia Prata (Mucian Meadows)

It is not known whether the story of Gaius Mucius is historical or mythical.

Louis-Pierre Deseine (1749–1822) was a French sculptor. He is known above all for his portrait busts and imaginary portraits. At the Salon of 1789, he showed a portrait head of Belisarius.

Deseine trained in several ateliers, notably with Augustin Pajou, whose portrait bust he exhibited at the Salon of 1785. He won a first prize from the Académie, which sent him to study further in Rome (1781–84)

In 1814 he published a history of the Académie royale de peinture et de sculpture, of which he had been a member. He described himself in 1814 as a member of the academies of Copenhagen and of Bordeaux, and as holding the post of first sculptor to the prince de Condé, for whom he had executed statues in the 1780s for the dining room at Chantilly, where some drawings are preserved.

His elder brother, the little-known sculptor Claude-André Deseine (1740–1823) was a deaf-mute, whose Republican sensibilities and the exaggerated character of his portrait studies has encouraged Michael Levey see him as a contrast to his brother.

The Grand Tour was the traditional trip of Europe undertaken by mainly upper-class European young men of means. The custom flourished from about 1660 until the advent of large-scale rail transit in the 1840s, and was associated with a standard itinerary.

It served as an educational rite of passage. Though primarily associated with the British nobility and wealthy landed gentry, similar trips were made by wealthy young men of Protestant Northern European nations on the Continent, and from the second half of the 18th century some South American, U.S., and other overseas youth joined in. The tradition was extended to include more of the middle class after rail and steamship travel made the journey less of a burden.

The primary value of the Grand Tour, it was believed, lay in the exposure both to the cultural legacy of classical antiquity and the Renaissance, and to the aristocratic and fashionably polite society of the European continent. In addition, it provided the only opportunity to view specific works of art, and possibly the only chance to hear certain music. A grand tour could last from several months to several years. It was commonly undertaken in the company of a knowledgeable guide or tutor.

The Grand Tour not only provided a liberal education but allowed those who could afford it the opportunity to buy things otherwise unavailable at home, and it thus increased participants' prestige and standing. Grand Tourists would return with crates of art, books, pictures, sculpture, and items of culture, which would be displayed in libraries, cabinets, gardens, and drawing rooms, as well as the galleries built purposely for their display; The Grand Tour became a symbol of wealth and freedom.
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Regent Antiques

Regent Antiques
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