Lot 4038
Home & Interiors: Antique Furniture & Design, Ceramics & Decorative Art | 25 June 2021
A set of four Italian white marble sculptures of 'Pallonisti' playing 'Pallone col bracciale'

Early 18th century, possibly Venetian or Tuscan

The company wearing spiked wooden gauntlets on their arms, and carrying two balls, dressed in contemporary dress and standing on a square plinth.

These marble figures portray a group of 'pallonisti', or players of the sport 'Pallone col bracciale'. Its first official regulations were established in sixteenth-century Italy, and soon the sport was played in many European courts. The two competing sides each consist of three players: the 'battitore' (the batter), the 'spalla' (the back), and the 'terzino' (the third). The seventh player, the 'mandarino', is the thrower and serves both sides. The ball is struck back and forth with the 'bracciale', a heavy wooden gauntlet covered in spikes. Aspects of both the game and scoring system resemble that of tennis, a sport which shares the same Roman origins. The group of marble figures that is on sale here appears to be a company of players caught up in a conversation, just before or after a match. Their long coats, knee breeches, buckled shoes, and hats are typical of the eighteenth century – and the sculptural group would probably have adorned a garden in this period. Although these figures remind us of Pallone’s heyday, the national sport and its characteristic 'bracciale' have stood the test of time, as it is still played in several towns throughout Italy. Other Italian sculptures of pallonisti are found in the Stadio dei marmi del Foro Italico, Rome and in the gardens of Palazzo Boboli, Florence.

H 97 cm and smaller

A white marble figure closely comparable to the present set was offered by Finch & Co., London, at Masterpiece, London, 2019.

€ 6.000,00
€ 8.000,00
€ 6.000,00

Hamerprijs: € 6.000