List Price £1,200
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This seashell is mounted upright on a turned wooden stand. The front, outer surface of the shell is finely carved in relief with a cameo of Mars, the Roman god of war. Mars stands in the nude atop a chariot that is pulled by two rearing horses, a helmet upon his head and a spear held by his hand. The chariot-drawn Mars occupies the upper third of the relief: the lower portion is filled with a delicately carved vine in bloom with flowers. The relief is entitled ‘Marte’, or ‘Mars’ in Italian.
The fashion for carved seashells exploded in Italy during the 19th Century. The shells were used as a medium to demonstrate the skill of the artisan and were collected and celebrated, often by tourists as souvenirs of travel, for the intricately executed, typically Classical, carved reliefs.
The back surface of the shell is signed ‘A. V. T’.
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