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Model of the The Nola Tomb, attributed to Domenico Padiglione, cork and stucco
Museum number: M1078
The three models of tombs in the collection have traditionally been described as replicating Etruscan sepulchres. In reality, they are loosely based on tombs of the pre-Roman Italic peoples that inhabited parts of Italy who came under the strong cultural influence of Greek colonies in southern Italy. This particular example is based on the frontispiece to J H W Tischbein’s 1791 publication of Sir William Hamilton’s (1730-1803) vase collection. Miniature vases within the tomb replicate those from this collection.
Soane recorded in his 1830 Description that a model on display in his Basement Ante Room at that time had previously belonged to Lord Berwick; His description enables us to identify it as M1078 (it is described as in the Basement Ante Room and clearly shown in the accompanying plate – it is very distinctive). It was Lot 70 at the sale of the effects of Lord Berwick at Attingham Park, Shropshire (by the auctioneer Mr. Robins) in 1827: A cork Model of an ancient Etruscan Tomb, exhibiting the interior with the skeleton, and vases round it, 3 feet long. In the annotated copy of the sale catalogue in Soane's collection his agent William Watson made a marginal annotation £2 x 14 WW [e.g. paid £2.0.14 William Watson]
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