Christmas is all about celebrating the birth of Christ, which can easily get lost during the commercialism of the holiday. But we found an amazing Pair of 18th Century Italian Putti that put us back into the reverential frame of mind. We like to take the pulse of the antique and collectible furniture market with industry spokesman George Evans, the entrepreneur behind Bond & Bowery, a great online resource for antiques and fine art. When we asked him what he had that would be appropriate for the holidays, he showed us this pair of beautiful angelic figures (putti = angels or cupids, little guys with wings), made in the country that gave birth to the crèche or nativity scene.
Design2Share: Why did this pair of putti catch your attention, George?
George: I dare you to find a fine pair of 18th century Italian figures of putti in the Neapolitan style of crèche figures! These lovely sculptures were probably part of a larger grouping, possibly used in a church of the period (around the 1720s).
D2S: Are these figures collectible?
George: The quality of the carving and painting is rare to find, and the fact that they're in untouched condition makes the pair quite collectible. It’s also hard to find a pair carved by the same hand. It's amazing that these two figures have been together for a long time, and we're glad they'll be staying together.
D2S: Where would you put this pair of angelic figures in the home?
George: These would work in many interiors. They can be a solo Boroque influence in a modern interior, or would complete a rustic Tuscan-influenced interior. Put the pair on the wall of a baby's room or nursery -- your child's guardian angels. They would also carry extra importance during the holidays; pair them with a large evergreen wreath and mirror over the fireplace, entry hall wall, or other place of prominence.
These figures come to us from the Bond and Bowery dealer Verdigris of Alexandria, VA. Religious-inspired art of the 19th century and earlier are often finer examples of quality craftsmanship. Artists were inspired by their religious beliefs and this spirit elevated their standards, bringing them closer to God when they executed their artistic abilities to the fullest. This pair of putti were hand carved and painted by an unknown Italian craftsman, and the artist's religious fervor is very evident. Their handmade beauty and the use of dazzling gold leaf make the pair a wonder to behold.