Chinese art (Burlington Fine Arts Club 01/01/1915-31/12/1915)
Paintings, room 81
Title page of sales catalogue reads: Dante G. rossetti, deceased, 16 Cheyne Walk, Chelsea. Catalogue of the Household & Decorative Furniture of the above famous artist and poet. T.G. Wharton, Martin & Co. Upon the premises, on Wednesday, July 5th, 1882, and two following days. Dandridge, Machine Printer, Highm Street, Deptford.
The bull is listed under Ornamental items, bronzes, china, brasses, &c. on the second day. Lot 381 A very fine Japanese bronze of a bull.
No annotation of price. Stephen Calloway (writing on 12 Aug 2003) imagines that DGR and other connoisseurs of the day might well have thought the bull to be Japanese and rather later in date. Incidently the preceeding lot was 'a pair of very fine 16in. incense burners', which suggests at least a small sense of logic in the arrangement of an otherwise rushed and somewhat chaotic sale.
It subsequently features in CA Ionides' collection inventory as 'Bronze bull from D.G. Rossetti's Sale', valued at £12.
Mark Evans (writing on 17/4/2003): Sold for 5 guineas and bought by Ionides, a friend of Rossetti - and appears in photos of the latter's house in Hove; his daughter bequeathed it to the V&A. I don't think we know how Rossetti acquired it, but he was keen on exotic animals like Aardvarks. I think he had a menargerie.
This bronze vessel in the form of a buffalo was originally the base of a lamp. A very similar buffalo, complete with the lamp proper fitted into the aperture on the animal's back, has been excavated in China. The V&A buffalo lamp probably suffered some damage and its owner turned it into a wine vessel by adding lids to the two apertures connected by a chain.
This bronze vessel in the form of a buffalo was originally a lamp base. A very similar buffalo, complete with lamp fitted into the opening on the animal's back, has been excavated in China. The V&A buffalo lamp probably suffered some damage. Its owner turned it into a wine vessel by adding lids to the two openings connected by a chain.